New Patient Special: No charge for the Tear Film Diagnostics for all new dry eye exams ($95 discount). Offer expires: 12/31/23


What exactly is Dry Eye? 

Dry eye disease is also known as ocular surface disease or keratoconjunctivitis sicca. It typically occurs when there is poor tear quality or insufficient production of tears and causes eye discomfort and reduced vision. It is a chronic common condition, that affects millions of Americans, and can be difficult to diagnosis and manage correctly.  

How do I know if I have dry eye?

Common symptoms of dry eye including burning, watering, grittiness, redness of the eyes and fluctuating vision.  Often, patients with dry eyes will complain of ‘watery’ eyes which are interpreted as having too much moisture, but in reality, is a response to underlying dryness/inflammation from an unhealthy tear film.

What factors cause dry eye disease?

Some of the common factors that can contribute to dry eyes:

  • Aging,
  • Heavy screen time,
  • History of LASIK/cataract surgery,
    Hormonal changes,
  • Autoimmune disease,
    Systemic conditions,
  • Certain classes of oral medications (antidepressants, oral contraceptives, hypertensive medicine, allergy medicine, etc),
  • Topical drops (glaucoma drops, etc),
  • Botox treatment,
  • History of blepharoplasty,
  • Modern diets (low in omega fats), and
  • Genetic predisposition,
  • Increased screen time leading decreased blink rate,
  • Fatigue and visual discomfort.

Is dry eye curable?

Currently there is no cure for dry eye disease and our goal is to effectively manage your ocular health for long term stability. There are many great management options to help alleviate the symptoms, improve the signs, improve tear film stability, and reduce the rate of the dry eye disease progression. Our goal is for you to have many more good days and fewer bad days with how your eyes feel. Many patients feel significant relief after an initial treatment series but maintenance treatments are recommended every 6 months to ensure the symptoms do not return.

Do I have dry eye or allergies?

Both dry eye and allergies can present with watery and irritated eyes; allergies tend to also cause itchiness in the inner corners of your eyes. Many patients have signs of both and having dry eye can make allergies worse since the allergens tend to remain in the eye longer before being flushed away by your tears. Additionally, oral allergy medicines and prescription eye drops can worsen dry eye.

I’ve tried several eye drops from the drug store and my eyes still feel dry and bothersome. Is there really anything that can help me feel better?

Yes! Most artificial/lubricating drops provide some temporary relief 5-25 minutes but they do not treat the underlying disease process. The majority of our patients typically require prescription medicines and in office procedures along with home treatment that is indicated for their specific situation.

Are there any simple things I can do on my own to help improve my dry eye?

  • Turning off the ceiling fan when you sleep,
  • Being more aware of blinking while on a digital device.
What can I expect during my first visit?

Our initial evaluation lasts about one hour which includes your tear film analytics, Firefly Dry Eye Report, an examination and education with the doctor. Click here for more information on what to expect during your initial visit.

What will my insurance help cover?

  • We do accept most major medical plans (currently we are out of network for United Health Care),
  • Your insurance will usually contribute towards the initial eye exam and follow up exams,
  • In office procedures, insurances can help cover amniotic membranes, punctal occlusion and irrigation of the tear ducts,
  • Intense Pulsed Light, Radio Frequency and Thermal Gland Expression are out of pocket,
  • Many of these procedures are HSA/FSA eligible and we will be happy to provide an itemized receipt for you to submit to your insurance company,
  • We will provide you with a cost estimate after your evaluation and are available to answer any questions you may have,
  • Please see our procedure pricing for more information.
Are in office treatments painful?

No, most patients report awareness but not pain.

Radio Frequency and thermal gland expression provide a gentle heat which many of our patients enjoy and find relaxing. 

Intense Pulsed Light Therapy can feel like a rubber band snap but most of our patients find it tolerable.  As an added measure, we will check in on your comfort throughout the procedure.

Once I go through an initial treatment series, how often do I need maintenance treatments?

After your treatment series, we will do a follow up exam and run your analytics again to determine what maintenance schedule is indicated. For most patients, we recommend a one visit maintenance treatment every 6 months but some procedures like Low Level Light Therapy can be done more often as desired.

My dry eye is pretty mild, do I still need to consider in office procedures?

It depends on your current dry eye status and your compliance with your current treatment.  If you are having mild symptoms or you’ve been told by your eye doctor that you have dry eyes (even if you are not symptomatic), in office procedures can help slow down the rate of dry eye disease progression so the symptoms do not escalate and become bothersome over time.  It is important to note that compliance is a critical part of at home therapy for mild/moderate cases, so if you anticipate that your compliance will be low then in office treatments are a great alternative.

Are any dry eye medications covered my insurance?

Although, we cannot guarantee coverage, we will work with you to find the best options using any available pharmaceutical coupons or specialty pharmacies to provide the best prices.

What do in-office procedures do exactly?

If we determine at-home therapy and prescription remedies are ineffective in managing your dry eye disease, we will recommend escalating your treatment protocol to include more potent in-office procedures:

  • Intense Pulsed Light helps target the inflammatory component of dry eye. It also helps with blepharitis and to improve the oil quality consistency. It can also seal off the small ocular rosacea vessels in the eyelid which promote inflammatory mediators to the eye.
  • Radio Frequency and TearCare Thermal Gland Expression help melt hardened oil and unclog blocked oil glands. This allows the oil to move more freely into the tears. Radio Frequency also has the benefit of tightening the skin around the eyes to reduce the effects of age related lid laxity which contributes to poor lid closure upon blinking which worsens dry eye symptoms.
  • Lid & Lash Cleaning helps improve blepharitis (inflammation of the lid margin) and remove biofilm that builds up on the eyelid margins, blocking the openings of the oil glands limiting the flow of oil into the tears. Think of the Lid & Lash cleaning like a dental cleaning – you can brush and floss at home, but it’s crucial to visit the dentist every six months to remove the hardened biofilm.
  • Low Level Light Therapy (LLLT) provides a lighter anti-inflammatory effect than IPL but can be helpful in mild cases or for those who are not candidates for IPL. It is also effective in extending the effects of your IPL treatment so you may be able to increase the time between the treatments.  LLLT also helps jumpstart the meibomian glands functionality.
How often do I need to come in for in office procedures?

We usually recommend an initial package of about 4-6 visits depending on your severity and also commonly recommend every 6 month maintenance treatments.

Can I go blind from dry eye?

Mild and moderate cases can cause vision reduction and fluctuation due to an unstable tear film and inflammation on the cornea. In more severe cases, dry eye inflammation can lead to changes on the cornea that can result in neurotrophic keratitis, which poses a risk to scarring of the cornea thereby causing permanent vision damage.

What if I don’t do anything to treat my dry eye now?

Dry Eye Disease is a irreversible, progressive and chronic condition.The earlier you can tackle the root causes of your dry eye, the more likely you are to slow down the progression to more severe stages of dry eye disease.  Untreated dry eye can cause an escalation of symptoms and vision reduction/visual loss.