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Tears are very important to both the health and the proper functioning of the human eye. This is because they both lubricate and protect the eye. They’ll cleanse dirt and flush any debris that gets in the eye while also possessing antibacterial properties. Tears won’t just keep the eye irrigated, but they’re essentially a first line of defense for your immune system. If you’re incapable of producing a proper amount of tears, you have what’s known as dry eyes or dry eye syndrome.

As your NYC ophthalmologist, Dr. Edwin M. Schottenstein understands how damaging – and widespread – dry eye syndrome can be. In fact, approximately 30 million people in the United States suffer from dry eyes! That’s why Dr. Schottenstein strives to do all he can to keep his patients’ eyes healthy from dry eyes and dry eye syndrome. There are plenty of different ways to treat this condition, but first, allow us to tell you more about it so that you can plan for the best course of action.

Symptoms of Dry Eyes or Dry Eye Syndrome

You may have dry eyes or dry eye syndrome if you’re suffering from some of the following symptoms:

  • Dry-feeling eyes
  • A burning or stinging sensation in your eyes
  • Eye redness or a bloodshot appearance
  • A sandy or gritty feeling under your eyelids
  • Itchy eyes
  • Tired eyes
  • Increased sensitivity to the light
  • Blurred vision
  • Discomfort wearing contact lenses

If you’re experiencing some of these symptoms, we highly suggest scheduling an appointment with your Manhattan eye doctor. Making sure that your moisture levels are normal and you have proper tear function is a vital part of keeping your body healthy and your immune system balanced.

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Causes of Dry Eyes or Dry Eye Syndrome

There are many different causes of dry eyes and they can include:

  • Cigarette smoke
  • Wind or dry air
  • Staring at a screen for too long
  • Eyelid problems
  • Aging
  • Certain medical conditions
  • Allergies

While there are many different causes of dry eye, there’s one cause that we want to single out: Meibomian gland Dysfunction. This is responsible for the majority of dry eye cases. The Meibomian glands are what produce the lipids necessary for maintaining a proper amount of lubrication for your eyes. If these glands are malfunctioning, blocked, or just dying off, a severe case of dry eyes can set in.

Treating Dry Eyes

There are many different ways to treat dry eyes and dry eye syndrome. Depending on the severity of the case and the underlying cause, your Manhattan eye doctor can provide you with one of the following treatment methods:


LipiFlow is an automated, in-office treatment that can treat dry eyes and dry eye syndrome by using warm pulsed pressure therapy in order to fix the balance of oils that are in the tear film. LipiFlow is currently the only treatment, which heats the meibomian glands directly from the undersurface of the upper and lower lids in a safe, comfortable, and targeted manor. LipiFlow is a quick and incredibly simple treatment. Additionally, it’s highly effective and it can treat Meibomian Gland Dysfunction with immediate results. Dr. Schottenstein will often recommend Lipiflow treatment—especially if a patient has tried other dry eye treatments with little to no success—as he has seen great results from using Lipiflow treatment.


Artificial Tears

If you have a mild case of dry eyes, artificial tears are what we would first recommend for you. These are over-the-counter lubricating eye drops that come in many different formulations. They’re simple, inexpensive, and easy-to-use.


While artificial tears are the first option for dry eyes, if the artificial tears aren’t helping much and we determine that you have chronic dry eye, we may recommend Restasis. Restasis is a prescription eye drop that can lubricate the eye, reduce inflammation that’s associated with dry eyes or dry eye syndrome, and also help the body produce more natural tears.


Like Restasis, Xiidra is another prescription topical eyedrop that’s capable of treating dry eyes and dry eye syndrome. This newer treatment is very similar to Restasis as it can also reduce eye inflammation and kick-start a person’s tear production. However, this treatment is often capable of working much quicker.

Punctal Occlusion

Punctal occlusion is an advanced procedure that eye doctors use to treat dry eye syndrome. For this procedure, punctal plugs will be inserted into the tear drainage area of the eye. This will keep the tears in longer and make it so they don’t drain as rapidly.

Visit Your NYC Ophthalmologist!

The practice of Dr. Edwin M. Schottenstein is glad to help you with all of your visual needs. With our comprehensive selection of dry eye treatments and other procedures, we’ll help make sure that your visual health is at its optimal level. If you’d like to experience how Dr. Schottenstein can help your vision, please feel free to schedule an appointment with your Manhattan eye doctor by giving us a call at (212) 874-2300. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. We’re looking forward to seeing you!