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Dry Eye Syndrome

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Weiss Eyecare Clinic - Quality Eye Care in Watertown, SD


Weiss Eyecare Clinic is dedicated to providing the most comprehensive eye exams to patients throughout Watertown. Our eye exams are designed to screen for diseases and identify any eye abnormalities. We also have a large selection of contact lenses and frames for you to choose from, with styles, brands, and colors to suit every face and preference.

Elevate your eye care to the next level with Weiss Eyecare Clinic.

Call Us! 605-882-0808
Sharp Vision & Healthy Eyes

Why Choose Weiss Eyecare Clinic?

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Dry Eye

Get relief for your dry eyes. There are so many options for dry, itchy, and uncomfortable eyes.

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Experienced Staff

We are devoted to helping you maximize your vision, so you can enjoy the highest quality of life!

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Family Eye Care

Our practice serves the entire family; generations of great vision, stunning eyewear and full service eye care.

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Great Selection

Select frames and lenses perfect for you in latest styles of designer sunglasses and prescription eyeglasses.

Eye Exams & Optometry Services in Watertown, SD

At Weiss Eyecare Clinic we welcome patients of all ages to our comfortable optometry office. Dr. Melanie Weiss provides personalized optical and medical eye care services to satisfy your family’s needs at any age, from pediatrics to geriatrics. Depending upon your age, lifestyle and overall health condition, vision care requirements change. In our friendly clinic, we become familiar with each individual patient in order to customize eye exams and treatment options.

Our family eye care services include eye exams for kids and adults, vision therapy, vision correction and management of age-related eye disease. Located conveniently to serve Watertown residents, we offer hours to suit every family’s schedule.

Weiss Eyecare Clinic in Watertown South Dakota has an excellent selection of eye glasses

Dry Eye Doctor Watertown South Dakota

Quality Eye Care


Dr. Weiss likes to take time with her patients to explain the results of your eye exam, describe your options and listen to your eye care needs. Because maintaining good eye health is an ongoing partnership, we encourage you to ask questions and share your health information, which could be vital to monitoring, diagnosing and treating potential vision problems.

At Weiss Eyecare Clinic, we handle everything from adult and children’s eye exams and hard-to-fit contact lenses, to eye emergencies, treatment of eye diseases and co-management of eye surgery such as LASIK.

Expert eye care solutions should be convenient and easy, and we excel in serving all your vision needs while maximizing the convenience. We are devoted to helping you maximize your vision, so you can enjoy the highest quality of life!

AWARDS

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Business Woman Of The Year

The Chamber honored Dr. Melanie Weiss as Business Woman Of The Year for 2019.

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New Heights Of Achievement

Cleinman Performance Network's 2012 award to Weiss Eyecare Clinic for Moving Their Practice To New Heights Of Achievement.

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Employer Of The Year

Business and Professional Women/USA congratulated Dr. Melanie Weiss as Employer Of The Year, 2008.

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Ask Dr. Melanie Weiss a Question

Q: How can a child's learning in school be affected by their vision?
A: A child's ability to learn is strongly dependent on having a normal visual system. Visual acuity (being able to see the letters on the chart with the big E) is only one aspect of about 17 visual skills that are required for reading and learning. Vision therapy is a treatment program that can remediate mal-developed visual skills and certain vision disorders, helping children reach their maximum learning and reading potential.

Q: One of the greatest tasks of a school-aged child is learning to read and in older children, the amount of reading required. What should parents be on the lookout for concerning their child’s reading and potential vision problems?
A: We often discuss vision problems as they relate to sitting in a classroom, but what about the playground or vision acuity’s effect on socialization and play?

Dr.-Weiss

Dry Eye Disease and Treatment

Dry eye syndrome (DES) is a chronic condition that develops when your eyes do not produce and maintain enough tears to keep the eye’s surface lubricated resulting in multiple symptoms that range from person to person. This can be due to a reduction in tear production or increased tear evaporation from a lack of lipid in the tears that stem from oil glands in the eyelids. The effects can range from minor dryness and discomfort to pain, blurred vision and frequent infections.

Symptoms of Dry Eye Disease

Symptoms of dry eye syndrome can vary depending on the severity of the condition but can include:

  • Dry, itchy eyes
  • Burning or stinging
  • Irritation
  • Watery eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Pain
  • Foreign body sensation

The main function of tears is to maintain the health of the cornea of your eye by washing away foreign matter and ensuring that the surface of your eye remains moist, smooth and clear. Tears also rinse away dust particles from your eyes and contain enzymes that protect your eyes from bacteria that can cause infections. Dry eyes is a condition that develops when the amount of tears produced is not sufficient to maintain the moisture balance in your eye. This can result in that scratchy sensation, a continuous feeling of dryness, stinging and a sensation of a foreign body in your eye. Ironically in an effort to fight off the condition, dry eyes can cause you to produce excessive tears, which is why some people experience watery eyes.

Causes of Dry Eye Disease

Dry eyes can occur naturally as a result of aging or hormonal changes, typically in women who are pregnant, taking oral contraceptives or going through menopause. In fact, women over 50 have a 50% greater risk of dry eye disease than men do of the same age. It can also result from taking certain medications that reduce tear production such as antihistamines, blood pressure medications and antidepressants. Environmental factors can also play a role in drying out the eyes and DED is common in areas where the climate is dry, dusty and windy. Home air conditioners or heating systems and excessive time spent staring at a computer or television screen can also dry out eyes and exacerbate symptoms due to the lack of blinking while staring at our screens.

Individuals that suffer from certain medical conditions such as diabetes, blepharitis, lupus, arthritis and thyroid problems are more vulnerable to developing DED. Other causes can be due to eye surgery including LASIK, certain conditions in which the eyelids don’t close properly or extended contact lens use.

Diagnosis of Dry Eye Disease

Typically, dry eye disease can be diagnosed through a comprehensive eye exam and a description of your symptoms. On some occasions the eye doctor might decide to do a test that measures how quickly your tears evaporate from the surface of your eye. By instilling a simple dye called fluorescein (much like food coloring) the doctor is able to watch and count how long it takes the tears to start to break up after they’ve asked you to hold your eyes open after a blink. This is called TBUT or a Tear Break Up Time test. A low TBUT generally indicates a lipid (aka oil) deficiency in the tears resulting from oil glands in the eyelids not functioning properly. In another type of test, called a Schirmer test, a strip of filter paper is placed under the lid of the eye and you will be asked to close your eye for five minutes. Following the test the amount of moisture on the strip will be measured. Schirmer tests are performed less frequently than a TBUT test.

Treatment for Dry Eyes

There are many treatment options for dry eyes which are highly dependant upon the cause and severity of the condition. Many mild forms of DED can be alleviated using artificial tears or lubricant eye drops to make up for the lack of natural tears usually produced by your eyes. If over-the-counter drops don’t alleviate your symptoms, your doctor might prescribe prescription drops that actually stimulate tear production or steroids for short-term relief.

More severe cases of dry eyes might be treated with a punctal insert which is a tiny insert containing a slow-release lubricating substance that is placed inside the lower eyelid. Since DED is often related to eyelid inflammation known as blepharitis your doctor may prescribe a heated hot compress mask, specialty eyelid scrubs and sometimes an antibiotic ointment. Finally, punctal plugs might be recommended for severe cases which would be inserted into the tear ducts to reduce the tear drainage in your eyes to keep them from drying out.

If the cause of your dry eyes is something external or environmental, eliminating that cause may solve the problem and resolve the symptoms. Avoid dry environments, hair dryers, heaters and fans, (particularly directed toward the eyes) and smoky environments and wear eye protection such as wrap around glasses or goggles when in dusty or windy areas. Use a humidifier to add moisture to dry indoor air. If working on computer or watching television, make sure to blink purposefully as our natural tendency is to reduce our blink rate when staring at a screen. Also avoid rubbing your eyes as this can further irritate them. Staying hydrated by drinking at least 8 to 10 glasses of water per day can also help.

In cases where discontinuation or switching to different medications is possible this can eradicate symptoms. Your doctor may also recommend that you limit or refrain from contact lens use for a certain amount of time or switch to a different brand or type of contact lens which will reduce dehydration.

Dry eye disease won’t have a permanent effect on your vision, but there is no reason to endure dry, itchy and uncomfortable eyes, especially since there are so many treatment options to increase moisture and comfort. It’s also important to realize that this is a chronic disease that needs consistent treatment. Your doctor will work with you to create a long term strategy to keep your eyes as comfortable as possible.

 

Our Lipiview Dry Eye Evaluation can help us get to the root cause of your dry eye symptoms.

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Lipiview Interferometer gives us an image of the Meibomian Glands which are the glands that produce the oily portion of our tears to keep our eyes moist. It allows us to see the condition of those gland and if there is any debris at the opening causing the glands to deteriorate or not work properly. It also can do many other things to help evaluate what is causing the dry eyes and where to start with treatment like looking at your blinks and the thickness or consistency of your tears. From there the Dr. will recommend treatment and one of those may be the LipiFlow procedure. This procedure is only a 12 minute for both eyes and is actually pretty relaxing. The applicators go just under your eyelids vaulting over the cornea of the eye and heat up and pulsate to help liquefy any blockage and flush out any debris to get those glands functioning how they should be. For more questions or to schedule your Lipiview Dry Eye Evaluation give us a call.