Dry Eye Treatment and Diagnosis in La Jolla, San Diego

Dr. Wendy GrossDr. Wendy Gross specializes in dry eye diagnostic examination and treatment here at Gordon Schanzlin New Vision Institute. Contact our office to schedule a consultation for dry eye treatment.

woman rubbing her eyes

What Is Dry Eye Syndrome?

Dry Eye Syndrome, or Dry Eye Disease (DED), is characterized by a lack of moisture or lubrication on the surface of the eyes. While severe dry eyes are common, people also may not realize that there are treatment options available. The cause of Dry Eye Syndrome may be related to a lack of tear production, dysfunction of the lacrimal glands, tear evaporation due to lack of oils, poor quality tears, infection, and inflammation.

Chronic Dry Eye Symptoms

You may already be familiar with the most common dry eye symptoms, but some people are surprised to learn the many symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome. For example, watery eyes can actually indicate that your body is producing an excess of tears to compensate for dry eyes. Here are more symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome:

  • Redness
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Excessive tearing
  • Eyes feeling tired at the end of the day
  • Fluctuating vision
  • Blurry vision
  • Halos
  • Grittiness
  • Mucous or stringy discharge
  • Poor night vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Contact lens discomfort

Dry Eye Risk Factors

Dry Eye Syndrome can affect anyone. Things that can cause or exacerbate dry eye symptoms include extended screen time, allergies, or environmental factors, such as Santa Ana winds. There are also some risk factors that may make you more likely to suffer from dry eye symptoms. Risk factors include:

  • Using digital devices for more than 2 hours per day
  • Age 50 or older
  • Hormonal fluctuations
  • Medical conditions such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disorders, Sjögren’s syndrome, menopause, lupus, and other autoimmune diseases
  • Eye conditions such as blepharitis or allergic eye disease
  • Use of certain prescription medications, including birth control pills, blood pressure medicine, diuretics, antidepressants, decongestants, and antihistamines
  • Family history of Meibomian gland dysfunction

Complications of Dry Eye Syndrome

If severe dry eye symptoms are left untreated, it can lead to Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source Dry Eyes Mayo Clinic Go to Source serious side effects or complications, such as damage to the cornea or recurring eye infections. Furthermore, dry eye symptoms can affect your overall quality of life, making it difficult to read, watch movies, or play sports. Fortunately, there are a variety of treatment options for dry eyes, many of which are simple and non-invasive.

man's eye close up

Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD)

Dry Eye Syndrome may be caused by a condition called Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). Meibomian glands are the oil producing glands in your eyelids. Oils, or lipids, are an important component of your tears, as they help keep your eyes moisturized and prevent the tear evaporation that leads to dryness. Over time, these glands can become blocked and stop producing enough oil, which may contribute to your symptoms of dry eye. MGD is the primary cause or contributor to as many as 85% of dry eye disease cases. Gordon Schanzlin New Vision Institute offers advanced treatments such as LipiFlow® and iLux for Meibomian gland dysfunction.

Anatomy of the Eye – Explanation of Tear Layers

Knowledge of how the eye works can be helpful in understanding the causes, symptoms, and treatment of dry eyes. In addition to the meibomian glands, there are three tear layers that help keep the eye lubricated – the lipid, aqueous and mucin layers each play a role in eye health.

anatomy of the eye

How Do I Know if I Have Dry Eye Syndrome?

A consultation with an experienced eye doctor is the best way to diagnose Dry Eye Syndrome. The doctors at Gordon Schanzlin New Vision Institute are dedicated to providing comprehensive eye care. If you are suffering from dry eyes, we will work with you to determine the root cause of your dry eye symptoms in order to create a personalized treatment plan. During a consultation, your doctor may:

  • Evaluate and analyze your day-to-day symptoms
  • Test all layers of the tear film to determine if there is a deficiency at any level
  • Perform an ocular allergy evaluation
  • Test meibomian gland function
  • Assess eyelid anatomy for physical causes of dry eye
  • Investigate for infectious causes of dry eye
  • Determine if there is systemic inflammation causing chronic dry eye
  • Customize a treatment regimen for your specific type of dry eye

Dry Eye Solutions

Our goal is to provide patients with the tools and information to keep their eyes healthy and comfortable while maximizing their own tear function and production. There are several initial approaches that patients can take to relieve the symptoms of dry eye. These are some at-home dry eye remedies that your eye doctor may suggest:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Use warm compresses, a Bruder Mask or Tranquileyes Goggles
  • Take specialized supplements, such as Ocusci™ Omega or HydroEye®
  • Avoid ceiling fans or other fans blowing directly on you
  • Over the counter lubricant drops that are free of preservatives or artificial tears such as TheraTears®
  • Use a humidifier while sleeping
  • Nightly lid wipes, such as OCuSOFT® Lid Scrubs
  • Make blinking exercises a regular part of your routine
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Dry Eye Treatment Options

There are a number of treatment options for patients whose dry eye symptoms persist despite lifestyle changes and over the counter drops. As leaders in the field of ophthalmology, Gordon Schanzlin New Vision Institute Dry Eye Center offers leading-edge treatments for dry eyes.


LipiFlow® is an effective procedure to stimulate healthy lipid production. Learn more about LipiFlow®.

Systane® iLux

Systane® iLux is a non-surgical and minimally invasive treatment that is clinically proven to relieve dry eye symptoms caused by Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD). Learn more about iLux.


RESTASIS® is a prescription cyclosporine eye drop to reduce ocular inflammation.


Xiidra® is a prescription eye drop to treat the signs and symptoms of dry eye disease.

Punctal plugs

Punctal plugs, also known as lacrimal plugs or tear duct plugs, are tiny devices that are inserted into the tear ducts to prevent drainage and keep eyes lubricated.


Bio-tissue® is an amniotic membrane treatment to treat severe corneal erosion due to dry eyes.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dry Eye Syndrome

Can Dry Eye Syndrome Be Prevented?

Since there can be many contributing factors, dry eye syndrome cannot always be prevented. However, there are several lifestyle changes you can make that may Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source Dry Eye National Eye Institute Go to Source prevent dry eye symptoms :

  • Eat a nutritious diet rich in Vitamin A and Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Get adequate sleep
  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day
  • Don’t smoke and avoid secondhand smoke

Does insurance cover treatment for dry eye?

Because dry eye is a medical condition, medical insurance does cover some treatments. However, not all dry eye treatments are eligible for insurance coverage. When you come in for dry eye treatment, we will let you know whether your treatment plan is covered by your insurance.

If I have dry eye syndrome, why do my eyes water so much?

Many of our patients do feel that watery eyes and dry eye syndrome are contradictory. However, the truth is that excessive tearing is a very common symptom of dry eye. In patients with dry eye, excessive tearing is a result of inadequate moisture, which may be caused by rapid tear evaporation, tears of poor quality, poor tear production, or issues with the eye’s drainage system. When these factors are present, the eye may produce extra tears to compensate.

Is it necessary to treat dry eye?

The symptoms of dry eye are more than irritating: they can also affect a person’s ability to enjoy certain activities. Additionally, it is important to seek treatment for dry eye because it can make a person more susceptible to corneal abrasions, eye infections, and other problems.

Man using eye drops

Is There a Cure for Dry Eye Syndrome?

There is no permanent cure for Dry Eye Syndrome. However, the condition can be managed and treated to minimize the effect of symptoms. There have been numerous technological advances in effective treatments for chronic dry eye, and new treatments can significantly relieve symptoms and halt the progression of dry eye disease. Gordon Schanzlin New Vision Institute has established a comprehensive Dry Eye Center in San Diego to provide a full range of diagnostic testing and treatment options to help you achieve relief from the debilitating effects of Dry Eye Syndrome.

Contact Gordon Schanzlin New Vision Institute

If you believe you may be suffering from Dry Eye Syndrome, contact us to learn more about the treatments available for chronic dry eye in La Jolla and San Diego.

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The Patient Experience

My appointment with Dr Wendy Gross (Jones) was outstanding. She was thorough and courteous, and educated me about maintaining my visual acuity. Their office is beautiful and the staff was equally amazing. My wife and I look forward to being lifelong patients of hers, and know that we are supported with comprehensive care of our vision.

Scott H.
Trused Source Icon - Checkbox Sources

1 Farrand KF, Fridman M, Stillman IO, Schaumberg DA. Prevalence of Diagnosed Dry Eye Disease in the United States Among Adults Aged 18 Years and Older. Am J Ophthalmol 2017;182:90-8

2 Mayo Clinic. Dry Eyes. Available: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dry-eyes/symptoms-causes/syc-20371863 Accessed April 15, 2021

3 National Eye Institute. Dry Eye. Available: https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/eye-conditions-and-diseases/dry-eye Accessed April 15, 2021.

The doctors at Gordon Schanzlin New Vision Institute have either authored or reviewed and approved this content.

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