Dry Eyes Specialist

Charles D. Woods, MD, Eye and Cataract Associates -  - Eye Center

Charles D. Woods, MD, Eye and Cataract Associates

Eye Center located in Decatur, AL & Huntsville, AL

If you’ve ever experienced dry eye, you know how uncomfortable the condition can be. Many men and women in Decatur, Alabama, have found lasting relief from dry eye through the care of Charles D. Woods, MD, of Eye and Cataract Associates. Dr. Woods has the skill and experience needed to determine the cause of dry eye and create a custom treatment plan that fits your needs. When you’re ready to get started, book a consultation online or by phone.

Dry Eyes Q & A

What is dry eye?

Dry eye, or dry eyes, is a common condition that occurs when your tears can’t create adequate lubrication for your eyes. Tiny glands above your eyes create tears and are more complicated than you might believe.

Tears are comprised of three layers: an inner layer of mucus, a middle layer of mostly water, and an outer layer containing oil. Every time you blink, you spread a film of tear fluid across the surface of your eyes. Tears work to:

  • Prevent dryness
  • Stave off infection
  • Deliver oxygen and nutrients to your eyes
  • Create a smooth surface to refract light

There are a number of things that can cause dry eye but also numerous ways to treat it.

What are some symptoms of dry eye?

The predominant symptom of dry eye is a sensation of discomfort or burning in your eyes. Additional symptoms include:

  • Sensitivity to light
  • Problems wearing contact lenses
  • Red eyes
  • Stringy mucus near eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Eye fatigue

Not everyone experiences all of these symptoms, but dry eye does usually produce some level of discomfort.

What are some treatment options for dry eye?

There are numerous ways to treat dry eyes, and Dr. Woods works with you to find the best solution for you. You may have tried over-the-counter drops to find relief before seeking professional care but found they were unable to fully relieve your symptoms.

Prescription medications can help treat dry eyes. Some drugs work to reduce inflammation, either by destroying bacteria or suppressing your immune response. Other medications stimulate tear production. Some medications come in an eye drop form while others are delivered via a slow-release insert you place in your eye every day.

Most people with dry eye must continue using medications or eye lubricant drops on a consistent basis to keep dry eye symptoms at bay.

What are punctal plugs?

Punctal plugs, also called lacrimal plugs, are tiny, semi-firm plugs made of collagen or silicone. Dr. Woods inserts the plugs into your tear ducts to prevent your tears from exiting your eyes. That provides additional moisture and can relieve many of the symptoms of dry eye.

Some types of plugs are made to dissolve over the course of a few days, weeks, or months. Dr. Woods might use these plugs to determine if a more lasting version could provide the right level of relief.    

If you’re ready to move beyond dry, itchy eyes, book your consultation with Dr. Woods today.