People experiencing dry eye symptoms should consult an eye doctor or eye care professional to determine the cause, which guides treatment strategy.

Do you have red, watery, tired, or gritty eyes? You might be suffering from chronic dry eye. Let our physicians at the Dry Eye Center evaluate your eyes to see if you have dry eye disease, a condition that affects millions of Americans.

What Is Dry Eye?

Dry Eye, as a condition, is defined as the eye’s inability to produce tears and lubricate itself. Dry Eye Syndrome affects millions of people every day, and causes range from aging to environmental irritants to pre-existing medical conditions.

Dry eye occurs when there is a problem with the quality or quantity of tears secreted. The normal tear film is a complex structure composed of many different layers. The oil layer is the protective layer of the tear film and prevents evaporation of tears. If there is an insufficient oil layer, the tears are quickly evaporated resulting in a dry eye.

Dry eye syndrome is an eye condition that affects many people worldwide. If you are experiencing dry eye syndrome, our dry eye specialists at Gainesville Eye Associates can create a treatment plan to improve your symptoms. 

What is Dry Eye Syndrome?

Dry eye syndrome is a common eye condition that many people experience every day. This eye condition primarily affects the transparent front surface of your eye, called the cornea.

In order to properly function, your cornea needs to be moisturized. Your tears, which are made of three different layers, are responsible for providing this lubrication.

Layers of the Eye

Outermost Layer

The outermost layer of the tear film is the lipid layer made of oil. This layer is responsible for ensuring that the tears adhere to the cornea and do not evaporate too quickly.

Middle Layer

The middle layer is made up of water and is the largest of any layer. This layer provides nutrients to the cornea to keep it healthy.

Innermost Layer

The innermost layer of the tear film is the mucin layer. The mucin layer is composed of mucus and helps the eye stay lubricated. 

What are the Symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome?

The symptoms of dry eye can differ from person to person. The most common dry eye symptoms are:

  • Dryness or irritation in the eyes
  • Redness of the eyes
  • Burning of the eyes
  • Itching of the eyes
  • Increased tearing
  • Blurry vision

What Dry Eye Treatments Does Gainesville Eye Associates Offer?

After a thorough evaluation and determining the root cause of your dry eye, your eye doctor will formulate a treatment plan. It is essential that you stay diligent in following the treatment plan to improve your symptoms.

If your eye doctor puts you on a regimen that you can do at home and you don’t see results, they may recommend in-office procedures and treatments. 

Lubricating Eye Drops

Lubricating eye drops are artificial tears that you can buy over-the-counter. These drops help your eyes stay moisturized when your natural tears do not accomplish this naturally. 

Dry Eye Vitamins and Supplements

Your eye doctor may recommend adding more vitamins to your diet or taking supplements. Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin A can help your eyes produce good quality tears to lubricate the surface of your eyes.

Punctal Plugs

Punctal plugs are tiny medical devices that an eye doctor can implant into the drainage channel of your eyes. These plugs help reduce the amount of tears that are leaving the surface of your eyes.

Allowing the tears to stay longer on your cornea will improve your dry eye symptoms. Your eye doctor can implant punctal plugs during a quick, in-office procedure, and they can be removed at any time.

Medicated Drops and Ointments

When over-the-counter eye drops do not seem to be adequately reducing your symptoms, your eye doctor may recommend starting prescription eye drops.

These prescription eye drops and ointments can take time to produce results. It is important to stay consistent with your regiment to notice an improvement in your symptoms. 


LipiFlow is an in-office treatment your eye doctor can perform to improve the quality of your tears and your dry eye symptoms. The LipiFlow device can help your meibomian glands produce oils to lubricate the surface of your eye.

The treatment is quick, lasting only about twelve minutes per eye. You will likely notice an improvement in your symptoms in the coming days after the treatment. 


The TearCare treatment also aims to increase oil production to promote more healthy tears. During treatment, TearCare’s wearable eyelid technology massages and gently heats the oil glands on your eyelids.

This process encourages the oil to flow out of the glands and lubricate the cornea. The TearCare treatment is also a quick, in-office procedure.

Are you interested in learning more about how the specialists at Gainesville Eye Associates can help improve your dry eye symptoms? Schedule an appointment at Gainesville Eye Associates in Gainesville, GA, today!

Signs of Dry Eyes

  • Blurriness
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Irritation from windy conditions
  • Fatigued eyes at the end of the day
  • Problems wearing contact lenses
  • Scratchy or gritty feeling
  • Excessive tearing
  • Red eyes

Common Causes of Dry Eyes

  • Sun/Wind Exposure
  • Problems wearing contact lenses
  • Heavy reading or digital device use
  • Health conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, lupus, and Sjogren’s syndrome

If you suffer from any dry eye symptoms, schedule an appointment with Gainesville Eye Associates so we can determine if you have dry eye and suggest an appropriate treatment plan.

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