Man with dry eyes

Dry Eyes

Itchy, red, or sensitive eyes can be uncomfortable and make everyday life more difficult.

Fortunately, there are a variety of conservative treatment options for dry eyes and the symptoms they cause.

Contemporary Ophthalmology of Erie in Erie, PA, can diagnose and treat your dry eyes to improve your quality of life.

What Is Dry Eye? 

Dry eye is a condition that is caused by insufficient tear production or poor tear quality. There are three types of dry eye:

Aqueous Tear-Deficient Dry Eye

If your eyes do not produce a sufficient amount of tears, you may have what is known as aqueous tear-deficient dry eye. Your tears lubricate and protect your eyes, so if your lacrimal glands aren't producing enough tears, you may experience pain every time your eyelid moves across the surface of your eye.

Evaporative Dry Eye 

While healthy tears contain a balanced amount of oil, water, and mucus, poor-quality tears do not contain the correct proportions of these substances, causing them to evaporate too quickly from the surface of the eye.

Mixed Dry Eye

If you have both aqueous tear-deficient dry eye and evaporative dry eye, you may be diagnosed with mixed dry eye.

Though you may think dry eye is simply an uncomfortable condition, it can be dangerous. When left untreated, dry eye can damage your corneas and impair your vision.

Dry Eye Symptoms

The most common dry eye symptoms include: 

  • Redness 
  • Watering 
  • Itchiness 
  • Stinging or burning 
  • Sensitivity to brightness 
  • The feeling of a foreign body in your eye 
  • Blurry vision 

Dry eye treatment can relieve your symptoms, allow you to wear contact lenses more comfortably, and improve your quality of life.

Man with dry eye irritation

What to Expect During Your Consultation

Though you may find temporary relief with over-the-counter treatments like artificial tears, our eye doctors can create a more effective treatment plan that best suits your needs. During a consultation with one of our Erie doctors, you can explain your symptoms and our doctor will perform different eye exams to determine the underlying cause of your dry eyes. Tests our doctors may perform include:

Slit Lamp Exam

Slit Lamp

Your doctor will briefly shine a light into your eyes to see the interior structures and try to detect potential damage or eye disease of the cornea, optic nerve, or retina.

Schirmer Test

Schirmer Test

After applying numbing eye drops, your doctor will apply strips of filter paper to the lower eyelids. These will measure the tears your eyes produce over the course of a few minutes.

Drs. Howard M. Levin, Vincent M. Imbrogno, Ravinder Sabherwal, and Emily Washek can determine the cause of your dry eyes and prescribe a treatment that helps reduce symptoms.

Dry Eye Risk Factors 

Several factors can increase your risk of developing dry eye, including: 

  • Older age
  • Certain medications, like antihistamines and antidepressants
  • Certain medical conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis
  • Skin conditions, such as rosacea
  • Eyelid problems
  • Environmental factors, including windy, smoky, or dusty conditions
  • Extended use of your contact lenses

Dry eye can also be caused by certain habits and tasks, such as driving for extended periods or prolonged use of electronic devices. Because you blink less when performing these activities, the eye sometimes cannot correctly distribute your tears.

Read Our 5-Star Reviews "The doctor was very thorough."


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An amazing team, communication is first rate, care was first rate and the doctor was very thorough great communications skills for sure!

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Very friendly staff, treat patients with the utmost care and kindness.

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Contemporary Ophthalmology of Erie

Drs. Howard M. Levin, Vincent M. Imbrogno, Ravinder Sabherwal, and Emily Washek provide state-of-the-art eye care in a friendly and comfortable setting. They are affiliated with leading vision organizations, including:

  • The American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • The American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery
  • The American Osteopathic Association

To book a visit with us, call us at (814) 838-9555 or request an appointment online.

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