Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye syndrome is a condition in which the eye does not produce enough tears, or the tears are too thin to lubricate and nourish the eye. Tears are necessary for maintaining the health of the front surface of the eye and for providing clear vision. Dry eye syndrome is a common and often chronic problem, particularly in older adults.

Tears provide lubrication and reduce the risk of eye infection. They wash away foreign matter in the eye as well as keep the surface of the eye smooth and clear. With each blink of the eyelids, tears are spread across the front surface of the eye known as the cornea. Excess tears in the eyes flow into small drainage ducts in the inner corners of the eyelids, which drain in the back of the nose.

When our eyes are not properly lubricated, our vision and comfort can suffer greatly. Thankfully, there are treatments and alternatives to help address the problem.

Causes & Symptoms of Dry Eye

Dry eye can result from an improper balance of tear production and drainage. Advanced dry eyes may even damage the front surface of the eye and impair vision. Elderly people frequently experience dry eye, but it can happen to anyone. Medications, other diseases, obstructions of glands, hormone changes, and many various medical situations can create dry eye symptoms.

People with dry eye syndrome may experience:

  • Irritated, scratchy, gritty or burning eyes
  • A feeling of something in their eyes
  • Excess watering
  • Blurred vision

Treatment of Dry Eye

While dry eye can be a chronic condition, Dr. Steven St. Marie or Dr. Karl Cunningham can prescribe treatment. This will keep your eyes healthy, more comfortable, and prevent your vision from being affected. Specific treatments aim to restore or maintain the normal amount of tears in the eye to minimize dryness or related discomfort and to maintain eye health.

To learn more about this condition, watch the video below. Please contact our office to schedule an appointment with us if you are experiencing any discomfort in your eyes, or if you feel that you have insufficient eye moisture.

We want to express our appreciation to all of you for your patience with us during this crazy time.  We have remained open to see urgent and emergent patients and are slowly beginning to increase the number of patients we see per week.  We have staggered schedules to only have one doctor and their required support staff in the office.  We have staggered patient times such that only one patient is seen at a time.  As such, we must still prioritize those with the greatest need for our services since we are seeing only a fraction of our customary number of patients.  Please understand that you are all very important to us and we look forward to seeing you as soon as practically possible.
We are still offering telemedicine for urgent needs that can be managed outside of the office.

If you come into our office for an appointment, this is what you can expect…
You will receive a phone call from us before the day of your appointment to go over your recent history and other pertinent information to facilitate your time with the doctor during the exam.  If we are unable to have this conversation, your appointment will need to be rescheduled.

Please park near the front entrance (west facing) when you arrive and call our number (524-9561) to announce your arrival.  Our doors are locked to limit the number of patients in the office at any one time.  One of our staff members will review a COVID risk questionnaire with you and take your temperature prior to your entering our office.  We require that you wear a clean mask to your appointment. If you require support or assistance or are under the age of 18, you may have one person accompany you (provided they pass the COVID questionnaire as well).  In an effort to reduce the number of potential contamination points, please leave any unnecessary items in your vehicle (hats, cell phones, etc.).  Nonessential visitors that accompany patients will be required to stay in their vehicle.

Our frame gallery is open on an appointment basis only.  The same precautions shall apply.  All frames are sterilized following handling.

Patients, parents and essential care providers with a temperature of 100.4 or higher or answer yes to any of the COVID-19 questions will not be allowed entry into the office.  If you do not have a mask, one will be provided for you.

Everyone’s health and wellness are our number one priority.  We are following the CDC and the AOA’s recommendations regarding COVID-19.  As guidelines change in the upcoming months, we will adapt accordingly.

Thank you very much for entrusting us with your care during this unprecedented time.