Dr. Alan Toler & Associates, PLLC 
               A Family Vision Care 
    Serving Generations in Central Virginia Since 1960      
   
        Call us today 804.231.9151 and let us meet your family vision needs. 

Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry, Red, Irritated, Scratchy, Eyes?

If you have any of these symptoms, you may have dry eyes:
    * Dry sensation
    * Tired Eyes
    * Scratchy, gritty feeling
    * Light sensitivity
    * Burning
    * Contact lens discomfort
    * Stinging
    * Itching
    * Soreness
    * Excess tearing (watery eyes)
    * Lid infections, styes
    * Mucous discharge
    * Irritation from wind or smoke
    * Redness

TWO TYPES OF TEARS
Your eyes are lubricated by two different types of tears produced by the tear glands in your upper and lower eyelids, constant and
reflex. Constant tears are produced to lubricate the eye at all times and contain natural antibiotics to fight infections. Reflex tears are
produced in response to emotion, irritation, or injury to help rinse the surface of the eye. If the constant tears are inadequate, the eye
becomes irritated. Then the reflex tears take over which is why one can have watery, teary eyes as a result of dry eyes.

A DELICATE BALANCE IS NEEDED
A delicate balance is needed between constant and reflex tears, in addition to a complete blink and proper blink rate, to help ensure that
your eyes will be comfortable, well-lubricated and well-protected. If the tear drainage ducts are too large, the constant tear supply is
drained away too quickly especially if the tear supply is already reduced for various reasons.

FIVE COMMON CAUSES OF DRY EYE SYNDROME

Blinking: If the tear drainage system is overactive, dry eye symptoms may occur. When we concentrate, read, drive, computer work, needle work, watch T.V., etc., we tend to stare. Staring can result in decreased blink rate. You need to blink 15-20
times a minute that is every 3-4 seconds, even when concentrating.

Aging: Tear production can decrease by as much as 60% at age 65 than at age 18. It is said that Americans are dehydrated,
so drink at least 8 large glasses of water each day.

Environment: High altitudes; sunny, dry windy conditions; and the use of heaters, blowers, hair dryers and air conditioners increase tear evaporation and reduce eye lubrication. Are you sitting in a draft at work? Is your computer monitor below eye level? It should be.

Contact Lenses: Contacts can dramatically increase tear evaporation causing irritation, infection, protein deposits and pain.
Gas Permeable lenses absorb dramatically less tears than a soft lens. Thus more tears are left on the eye.

Medications: Decongestants, antihistamines, diuretics, medication for heart disease, arthritis and ulcers all decrease lubricating tears causing dry eye syndrome.

LONG TERM SOLUTION
Through canalicular occlusion (the medical term that describes the closure of your tear drainage ducts), there is a simple non-surgical procedure to provide long-term relief of Dry Eye Syndrome.

More than half a million dry eye suffers have been successfully treated, through canalicular occlusion. Small, non-dissolvable plugs are inserted in the tear drainage ducts. By blocking the tear drains, more natural infection-fighting tears bathe and
soothe the eye, which may eliminate the need for eye drops altogether. Lacrimal plugs can also reduce or eliminate the major cause of contact lens discomfort. Here’s how they work: link to
http://www.eaglevis.com/
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CAN CANALICULAR OCCLUSION HELP YOU?
The Lacrimal Efficiency Test can help Drs. Toler and staff recommend canalicular occlusion with confidence. Small dissolvable plugs are inserted in the tear drainage ducts which dissolve within 4-7 days. If you experience symptomatic relief during this
test period, we may determine that you can benefit from the long-term closure of your tear drainage ducts.

Many of our patients who have suffered for years from long-term Dry Eye Syndrome report tremendous relief with this procedure. Maybe it’s the answer to some of your problems too!