Woman with dry eye

Dry Eyes

Are your eyes constantly dry, red, and irritated? You could be suffering from dry eye syndrome.

Fortunately, Galler Eye Care Associates in Providence, RI, provides advanced solutions that can give you long-term relief.

Let's take a closer look at what causes dry eyes and how Dr. Ezra L. Galler can help you overcome this condition.

Dry Eye Syndrome Affects Millions

Dry eyes occur when tears fail to adequately moisturize the eyes. It is estimated that almost five million Americans over age 50 suffer from dry eye syndrome, most of whom are women

Factors such as your age, the medications you take, your overall health, the time of year, and the amount of time you spend outdoors can lead to dry eyes. However, the fundamental issue is an imbalance in the makeup of your tears, which have three essential layers:

  • The inner mucus layer keeps tears evenly dispersed over the eye.
  • The watery middle layer hydrates the eye and protects against bacteria.
  • An outer layer of oil prevents tears from evaporating too quickly. It also gives the tears a smooth texture for improved focus.

During your visit to our Providence, RI, office, Dr. Galler can perform tests to identify any imbalance and prescribe treatment according to your needs. 

Man with dry eyes

Book an Exam Today Dr. Galler Is Here to Help You

Dry eyes are annoying at best. At worst, they can cause serious ocular health issues. If you find that you are often experiencing some degree of eye irritation, please know that this isn't something you have to accept. Dr. Galler in Providence, RI, is equipped to identify the root cause of your dry eyes and provide a treatment customized to your needs. Take the first step toward achieving lasting relief today. Send us a message or give us a call to book your consultation:

It is estimated that almost five million Americans over age 50 suffer from dry eye syndrome, most of whom are women.

Meibomian Gland Dysfunction The Leading Cause of Dry Eyes

The meibomian glands within your eyelids produce meibum, the oil layer of your tears. The most common reason for meibomian gland dysfunction is that these glands can become clogged, resulting in imbalanced tears that evaporate too quickly, leaving the eyes dry, red, and irritated. Sufferers often have watery eyes because the body is trying to compensate for this imbalance but the tears continue to rapidly evaporate due to inadequate oil, so the symptoms of dry eye syndrome remain.

Dr. Galler in Providence, Rhode Island, provides two advanced noninvasive treatments for meibomian gland disorder to alleviate dryness, redness, and irritation.

IPL

Intense pulsed light (IPL) is a method of unclogging the oil glands using light energy. After a cooling gel is applied to the eyelids and special goggles are placed over the eyes, Dr. Galler uses a handheld device to apply short, concentrated bursts of light that melt the obstruction in the oil glands while reducing inflammation and curbing bacterial growth.

IPL is painless and requires no downtime. Typically, patients will undergo a total of four treatment sessions over four months and begin experiencing improved dry eye symptoms after the first or second treatment sessions. Dry eyes are chronic, and patients usually need repeat IPL treatment about every nine months.

IPL has been found to be more than 90% effective for dry eye sufferers experiencing meibomian gland dysfunction and more effective than the traditional methods of unclogging oil glands using warm compresses and massage techniques.

IPL

LipiFlow

LipiFlow

LipiFlow® is a modern take on the traditional method of combining massage and a warm compress to unclog meibomian glands. After Dr. Gallan places anesthetic eye drops for your comfort, single-use applicators make contact with both the outside and inside of your eyelids. Over the next 12 minutes, the applicators apply gentle pressure and heat to dislodge the gland obstructions. After treatment, there is no downtime. 

Over the next six to eight weeks, you can expect your dry eye symptoms to improve as your tears regain the ability to lubricate the eye. The effects usually last about a year. At that time, you can undergo another LipiFlow treatment at our Providence, RI, office to maintain a proper balance in the composition of your tears and avoid redeveloping the symptoms of dry eye syndrome.

Ready to Stop Suffering With Dry Eyes? Dr. Galler Is Ready to Help You

When dry eye syndrome causes ocular discomfort and redness, the persistent irritation isn't just a bother; eventually, inadequate tears can increase your risk of eye infection, corneal abrasions, corneal ulcers, and eventual vision loss. In other words, what might seem like a simple annoyance could actually cause diminished quality of vision. 

Dr. Galler is a board-certified ophthalmologist in Providence who can help you control dry eye syndrome using some of the most sophisticated solutions available. His state-of-the-art practice is focused on helping you achieve and maintain your best quality of vision. During a consultation, he can determine if solutions like LipiFlow and IPL, artificial tears, prescription eye drops, or just simple lifestyle changes are the best way to help you control dry eyes and avoid placing your vision in danger. 

Don't wait any longer to get the dry eye relief you need and deserve. Send us a message or give our Providence, Rhode Island, office a call to request your dry eye consultation:

(401) 728-1400

Dr. Galler
IPL has been found to be more than 90% effective for dry eye sufferers experiencing meibomian gland dysfunction

Other Causes of Increased Tear Evaporation

In addition to meibomian gland dysfunction, increased tear evaporation and resulting dry eyes can be caused by several other factors, including:

Infrequent Blinking

If you have Parkinson's Disease, or spend significant time working at a computer or reading, you may not be blinking often enough to retain the right amount of tears. Parkinson's sufferers can find relief through solutions like artificial tears and special eye exercises that can allow you to blink more often. If you work in front of a computer or read for long periods, try the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, take a break and focus on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. 

Eyelid Abnormalities

Ectropion (eyelids that turn outward) and entropion (eyelids that turn inward) are eyelid abnormalities that can affect your ability to blink, resulting in tears that evaporate too quickly, resulting in dry eyes. Both issues can be corrected with plastic surgery.

Eye Allergies

Certain allergies can cause dry eyes. Artificial tears and prescription eye drops can help in some cases. Antihistamines can help some patients, but be aware that they can actually make dry eyes worse in some cases. Dr. Galler in Providence, RI, can work with your general healthcare provider to find a solution if your allergies are causing rapid tear evaporation.

Environmental Conditions

For many, wind, smoke, and dry air can make chronic dry eyes worse. This can be especially true in the summer, when people tend to spend more time outside and using air conditioning. Sufferers should take special care to stay hydrated. Meanwhile, wear goggles when swimming and consider wearing wraparound sunglasses that can provide sun protection as well as wind blockage. Using a humidifier indoors can help counteract the dry air caused by air conditioning indoors.

Regardless of what is causing your dry eyes, Dr. Galler can identify the cause of your issues and recommend a solution that keeps the condition under control and protects your ocular health.
During an exam at our practice, Dr. Galler will examine your eyes to determine if a tear deficit is to blame for your dry eye symptoms.
Dr. Ezra L. Galler

Galler Eyecare Associates

Galler Eyecare Associates is a state-of-the-art ophthalmology practice based in Providence, RI. Dr. Ezra L. Galler specializes in cornea and external disease and has been at the forefront of laser vision correction surgery for over two decades. He is affiliated with:

  • Rhode Island Hospital
  • Kent Memorial Hospital
  • The Miriam Hospital

Contact our office using our online form or by calling (401) 728-1400.

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Providence Office

100 Highland Ave
Ste 304
Providence, RI 02906

Open Today 8:00am - 5:00pm

(401) 728-1400 Send a message