What Causes Dry Eyes?

February 15, 2024

If you experience redness, tearing, and easily irritated eyes, you know how much it can affect your daily life. You may feel the need to remove your contact lenses earlier than you want to or frequently replace your soft contact lenses. Your eye symptoms may keep you from going places or doing things you might otherwise enjoy, and applying eye drops can be annoying and ineffective. Professional dry eye treatment can help restore eyes that feel comfortable and no longer require constant eye drop application. 

What are the Symptoms of Dry Eyes?

You may not know you have dry eye disease, but you probably recognize the list of symptoms of this condition, including constant red eyes, tearing, sensitivity to bright lights, achiness around/behind the eyes, irritation, scratchy sensation, and itching. While many people experience occasional dry eyes, others deal with it as a chronic condition. If your eyes are red, and frequently feel dry, sensitive, or watery, you may have chronic dry eyes that can benefit from professional treatment. 

Dry eyes Costa Mesa & Orange County

What Causes Dry Eyes?

Dry eyes are a common condition, and most people will notice that their eyes feel dry after spending time in a dry environment (office, airplane, dessert), staring at a screen for too long, or dealing with a windy dusty environment. Allergies often contribute to dry eye symptoms as well. However, many people with chronic dry eyes have a condition that affects their tear film, a barrier layer that protects the eye from infection and clears debris. 

The tear film is made up of several layers: an aqueous layer, a lipid layer, and a mucin layer.  The lipid or oily layer keeps your tears from evaporating. However, the meibomian glands that secrete the oily layer along the edges of your eyelids often become blocked, preventing them from secreting this important substance. Some treatments can unblock these glands and improve the quality of the oil secreted, relieving your condition. 

Dry eyes are also caused by chronic inflammation around the eye area that can block your meibomian glands and prevent normal blood flow to and from the area. Treatment can reduce inflammation around the eyes and restore healthy tears that keep your eyes comfortable. 

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We’d love to help you get all the information you need in order to make the best choice for your eyes. Request a consultation today! Our staff is available and happy to answer your every question.

How are Dry Eyes Treated?

The most common way to treat dry eyes is with over-the-counter lubricating eye drops. However, this method has several disadvantages, including short-term relief, and the need for frequent application, which can cause make-up to run. Our non-invasive in-office treatment options provide dropless, long-lasting relief. 

Lumenis Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)

During this treatment, pulses of focused light gently break up hyperpigmentation and seal up dilated blood vessels, decreasing inflammation to improve oily secretion and tear film strength. It also leaves your eye area looking brighter and more youthful. 


The treatment uses a tiny rotating sponge that powerfully deep-cleans the eyelashes and margin of the eyelids. It works quickly to exfoliate and unblock clogged glands to reduce eye redness and improve dry eye symptoms. 


This treatment uses gentle heat that softens Meibomian gland secretions, letting them be cleared away with gentle massage. It can relieve dry eye symptoms in as little as one treatment. 

Is There Any Downtime After Dry Eye Treatment?

Our in-office dry eye treatments require no downtime. You can return to work or other activities immediately. Depending on the treatment, the area around your eyes may look mildly red for up to an hour after your appointment. Most people do not look like they have had any treatment at all. 

Although sunscreen is always important for the delicate skin around your eyes, people receiving IPL treatments need to be especially diligent with sunscreen application since light treatments make your skin more sun-sensitive. Dr. Wu may also recommend steps you can take to decrease the chances of your glands becoming clogged again. Some people will experience a recurrence of dry eye symptoms after treatment since this is a chronic disease, but maintenance treatments, as needed, can manage these symptoms. 

I had a great experience with One Eyecare Center. Dr. Wu is extremely knowledgeable and relieves any concerns. I did monovision and it has worked great for me. This is the ONLY eye care specialist I will ever go to again.
david s.

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Want to know more about dry eyes? Please fill out the form on this page or call (949) 208-9090 to schedule your appointment.

We proudly serve the Costa Mesa & Newport Beach areas.