Surprisingly Simple Solutions to Dry Eyes Living in Phoenix, Arizona

Living in Phoenix, Arizona, there’s no denying the intense heat we experience most of the year. High temperatures alone can lead to eye irritation for many people.

Here at Eye on Health, our optometrist wants you to understand that you don’t have to suffer from dry eyes here in Phoenix!

Are your eyes watering for no reason?
Is your vision blurry sometimes?
Do your eyes feel gritty?

If you answered yes to any of the above, you may be experiencing dry eyes.

Today we’ll be giving you helpful information you need to know and some surprisingly simple treatment options. Let’s get you feeling better so you can get back out there and enjoy our beautiful city!

How Do I Know If I Have Dry Eyes?

We’re going to clear up a confusing topic: if your eyes are watering all the time — you likely have dry eyes. You’d think watery eyes would mean they aren’t dry, but it’s actually one of the biggest symptoms of dry eye. That’s because this fluid lacks the lubricating agents to retain moisture. So the tears bathing your eyes aren’t hydrating them!

Other Symptoms of Dry Eye Include¹:

  • Red eyes
  • Stinging or burning sensation
  • Gritty feeling
  • Feeling like something is in your eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Mucous in or around eyes
  • Uncomfortable to wear contact lenses
  • And more...

You could have one or more of these symptoms, and they can vary from severe to mild. Every person’s symptoms affect them differently. What significantly impacts one person may not bother another. Since dry eye symptoms are so individual, it’s important to get personalized care from an experienced, local eye doctor like Dr. Balocca.

If you’re noticing any of these symptoms, contact our office at (480) 809-0550 or schedule an appointment here.

What Causes Dry Eyes?

Dry eye is caused by two main issues; either you aren’t producing enough tears or the quality of the tears simply doesn’t hydrate your eyes. There are three important layers to our tears: oil, water, and mucin layer. They all work together to keep the surface of our eyes healthy. Our optometrist will tell you, just living in Phoenix’s hot climate can cause dry eyes!

Other Causes of Dry Eye Include²:

  • Aging
  • Refractive surgery
  • Blocked tear ducts
  • Long term use of contacts
  • Reading or computer use for long periods
  • Certain medical conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus
  • Some medications like antihistamines or antidepressants
  • And more...

As you can see, there are many reasons you might have dry eyes. A detailed eye exam at Eye on Health will help uncover why you’re experiencing this and give you solutions to this annoying problem.

How Do You Treat Dry Eyes?

Over the Counter Eye Drops

You’re in luck! For very mild symptoms we usually recommend the least invasive step first: eye drops. Use an over-the-counter preservative-free eye drop (like Refresh or Systane), four times daily for a week or so. If you don’t notice improvement, then it’s time to come see us at  Eye on Health.

Unfortunately, people experiencing mild to moderate dry eye symptoms won’t find relief with over-the-counter drops or gels. But there’s still hope...

Punctal Plugs

Don’t worry, it’s not as scary or invasive as it sounds! The eye works like a drainage system, and sometimes you lose valuable moisture when it’s not working properly. The punctum is a small opening by the inner corner of your eye. This small opening leads to the tear duct, where tears drain away. Lose too much, and you get dry eyes.

Inserting tiny punctal plugs (a common in-office procedure) allows your natural tears to remain on your eye’s surface longer. This simple solution enables your eyes to naturally retain moisture longer — and banishes those pesky symptoms of living in Arizona. Talk to our optometrist today to see if this is a good treatment option for you.

OCuSOFT® Thermal 1-Touch™

Maybe you’re tired of putting in eye drops. Or maybe our optometrist doesn’t recommend punctal plugs as the optimal choice for you What other treatments are available?

We’re happy to offer our patients the newest technological advancements in the treatment of dry eyes. The Thermal 1-Touch™ gets to the root cause of your dry eye!

When it comes to moisturized eyes, meibomian glands in your eyelids play a critical role. They produce the oily layer of the tear film your eyes need. If these glands work properly, you shouldn’t have dry eye symptoms.

The Thermal 1-Touch helps our optometrist treat abnormal function in a surprisingly easy way.  The device applies gentle pressure and low heat to soothe and reset meibomian glands. It treats all 4 eyelids at once, with a constant, pulsing temperature.

What to Expect with a Thermal 1-Touch In-office Treatment

This in-office treatment takes between 10-30 minutes (based on the severity of your condition and recommendation from our optometrist).

It’s as simple as³:

  1. Instilling anesthetic drops for your comfort
  2. Cleaning your eyelids
  3. Adjusting OCuSOFT Thermal 1-Touch to your face
  4. Apply heat and soft pressure for the recommended time
  5. The Optometrist will express glands
  6. Eyelids are cleaned

Number 5 gets the most people. What in the world does “express glands” mean?

We’re talking about the meibomian glands on your eyelids. Expressing these glands improves their function by increasing the quality of oil production, so you ditch your dry eye symptoms! After your eyelids have had heat and pressure applied, it’s easy for our optometrist to express them.

Some people need 2-3 treatments before they notice significant improvement. Remember, your treatment depends entirely on your individual eye health. It may sound scary, but it sure beats putting in eye drops multiple times a day!

You may feel worried about deciding what’s best for your situation.

Are you comfortable putting in eye drops long-term?
Do you have more questions on the Thermal 1-Touch?
Do punctal plugs scare you?

We know you have lots of questions — and you don’t have to figure it out alone! Eye on Health is here for your eye care needs.

Our Phoenix Optometrist Loves Providing Simple Solutions

Choosing an eye doctor in Phoenix shouldn’t be a last-minute decision. Take time to do your homework and explore local options. This is your vision and one of your most important senses. You deserve the best eye care from your optometrist, and Dr. Balocca would love the opportunity to serve your eye care needs.

Dr. Balocca will help take care of your dry eye situation! He’s passionate about eye health, vision, and patient care. He’s ready to answer your questions and give you his best recommendations for all your eye care needs.

If you’re experiencing any dry eye symptoms or have more questions, contact our office at (480) 809-0550 or schedule an appointment here.



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