Say Goodbye to Dry Eye

Dry Eye, Encino, California, Dr. Mark A. Baskin, Ophthalmologist and Ophthalmic Plastic Surgeon

Folks throughout San Fernando Valley and Southern California know the symptoms of seasonal Santa Ana winds well: sneezing, flaky skin, and itchy eyes. But if your dry eyes seem to be a persistent problem that lasts throughout the year, it may be more than just the wind.

Dr. Mark Baskin, one of Encino’s top ophthalmologists, specializes in helping people overcome the annoying and painful condition of chronic dry eye.

Do I have dry eye or something else?

Eyes that are too dry can be the symptom of anything from a medication reaction to the weather. You may experience dry, itchy eyes from:

But chronic dry eye is not just a symptom — it’s a condition. Fortunately, it’s treatable.

The physical effects of dry eye

The average human eye constantly produces tears to keep the eye lubricated. That moisture contains important oils and proteins that are critical to the health of your eyes. If something temporarily interrupts that flow (like one of the conditions mentioned above), you feel immediate discomfort in the form of dry, itchy eyes.

But if you have chronic dry eye, you may have a very different problem. Your glands may not be producing enough tears, or they may be producing chemically imbalanced tears. Either way, it causes pain and discomfort and can even affect your vision.

Hope for your dry eyes

After a simple test, Dr. Baskin can determine if you have chronic dry eye, and if so, the best way to treat it.

In most cases, Dr. Baskin finds that dry eye responds well to prescription medications. With your health and safety in mind, he often recommends one of two FDA-approved eyedrops.

Restasis®, which is a cyclosporine emulsion, increases your eye’s ability to produce those much-needed tears. After about four weeks, you start to notice a difference; after three or four months, your eyes should be producing their own tears like normal.

Xiidra® contains a slightly different ingredient called liftigrast and helps if your dry eye problem is accompanied by inflammation. After using these drops twice a day for a few months, you can expect significant improvement in your dry eye symptoms.

What if drops don’t work?

If neither of these options solves your dry eye, Dr. Baskin may opt to give you punctal plugs. He inserts the tiny device into your tear ducts to block the flow of your natural tears.

Although that sounds like the exact opposite of what you need, it’s actually an ingenious solution. By restricting the flow of your own tears, which may be weak, nonexistent, or even contain some chemical irregularities, it allows the medication to stay in place on your eye and do its job more efficiently.

The punctal plug procedure is done during a simple office visit at Dr. Baskin’s office in Encino, California.

When you’re ready to figure out what’s causing your dry eye and fix it for good, call Dr. Baskin for a consultation or book an appointment online.

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