Dry Eyes Specialist

Eye See Ravenswood

Andrea J. Stein, OD

Optometrist located in Ravenswood, Chicago, IL

Having dry eyes is an uncomfortable symptom that occurs most typically with age or among postmenopausal women. With over 3 million U.S. cases per year, it’s a common condition that can often be resolved with eye drops. Visit optometrist Dr. Andrea J. Stein at Eye See Ravenswood in Chicago to evaluate where your condition warrants a prescription. You can call or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment.

Dry Eyes Q & A

What are dry eyes?

Your eyes naturally are filled with tears for lubrication, even when you’re not crying. The moisture serves to keep your eyes functioning comfortably. Tears are made of:

  • Water for moisture
  • Oils for lubrication
  • Mucus for even spreading
  • Antibodies and other special proteins to help fight infections

When tears become limited (often due to aging or menopause), you might experience uncomfortable dry eyes.

What are signs and symptoms of dry eyes?

You may have dry eyes if you experience:

  • Feeling like there’s something in your eye
  • Itching
  • Redness
  • Blurry vision
  • Light sensitivity

In some cases, dry eyes may even cause watery eyes due to reflex tearing.

What causes dry eyes?

Several factors can cause dry eyes. In general, this condition is caused by:

  • Decreased tear production
  • Increased tear evaporation
  • An imbalance in tear composition

Sometimes environmental factors, like air conditioning, can physically dry out your eyes as well. Specific bodily causes include:

  • The natural aging process (menopause, in particular)
  • Side effects of certain drugs (commonly seen with antihistamines)
  • Certain diseases that affect your body’s ability to produce tears
  • Certain problems that keep your eyelids from shutting the way they should

What are risk factors of dry eyes?

Certain factors may increase your risk of being affected with dry eyes, including:

  • Age: being older than 50
  • Gender: being female
  • Diet: having a vitamin A-deficient diet or low omega-3 levels
  • Wearing contact lenses

How are dry eyes treated?

Treatments for dry eyes serve to provide comfort and relief. Sometimes, dry eyes may be treated using over-the-counter eye drops and ointments or minimal lifestyle changes. Artificial tear drops are effective throughout the day if you experience chronic dry eyes, while a thicker ointment might keep your eyes lubricated throughout the night.

In cases where over-the-counter treatments aren’t effective, see Dr. Stein for  stronger prescription medications or even certain procedures.

Under what conditions should I see Dr. Stein?

If your symptoms seem prolonged, even after using g over-the-counter eye drops or ointment, you may need to visit Dr. Stein for a diagnosis. Extensively red, irritated, tired, or painful eyes may need stronger treatment or a different diagnosis.