Diagnosis and Treatment for Dry Eye

Dr. James Barton at Ensight Eyecare has the expertise and advanced technology to diagnose and treat dry eye disease and helps people who are suffering from the symptoms caused by dry eye disease find relief.

What is Dry Eye?  

Dry eye disease is a condition where your eyes aren’t producing enough quality tears to lubricate and nourish the eyes. Over 100 million people worldwide suffer from dry eye, and women are affected by dry eye 50% more than men.   

Tears help maintain eye health and keep vision clear. Tears lubricate the eyes, reduce the risk of eye infections, wash away foreign matter in the eye, and keep the surface of the eyes smooth and clear. When tear production and drainage are out of balance, dry eyes can occur.  

The tears are made of three components:   

  1. Lipid (oil layer that prevents the tears from evaporating) 
  2. Aqueous (water and nutrients)
  3. Mucin (spreads the tear film evenly and stabilizes tears)

A decrease in the quality or the quantity of any of the three components will lead to dry eyes.   In the past, it was thought that dry eye was primarily due to a lack of watery tears produced by the lacrimal gland above the eye. In the last few years, the complexity of the tear film and ocular surface has become increasingly apparent.  

Dry eye is categorized into two distinct groups:  

  1. Aqueous deficiency dry eye (keratoconjunctivitis sicca)   
  2. Evaporative dry eye (Meibomian gland dysfunction)  

Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is thought to be responsible for over 85% of dry eye cases, which are mostly evaporative. MGD happens when the glands in the upper and lower eyelids are blocked and can no longer produce a healthy oil layer, causing the tears to evaporate quickly. Many cases of MGD are also associated with aqueous deficiency dry eye. Any imbalance can lead to dysfunction of the tear film.

What are the Symptoms of Dry Eye?   

Signs and symptoms of dry eye, which usually affect both eyes, may include:   

  • A stinging, burning, or scratchy sensation in your eyes
  • Stringy mucus in or around your eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Eye redness 
  • A sensation of having something in your eyes 
  • Difficulty wearing contact lenses
  • Difficulty with nighttime driving and participating in outdoor activities  
  • Watery eyes, which is the body’s response to the irritation of dry eyes
  • Blurred vision or eye fatigue 
  • Contact lens intolerance
  • Reduced reading or near working time
  • Eye fatigue
  • Blurred vision

As dry eye disease worsens, inflammation becomes more prominent. While many cases of dry eye are relatively mild, some may progress to cause severe damage to the ocular surface and vision loss.

How is Dry Eye Diagnosed?  

If you’re suffering from symptoms of dry eye disease, the first step is to schedule a comprehensive eye exam. If dry eye disease is suspected, Dr. James Barton may use a variety of diagnostic tools during an exam.  

Slit Lamp   

Our doctor will examine the surface of your eyes using a biomicroscope, also known as a slit lamp. The slit lamp has a bright light and allows the doctor to examine the different structures in the front of the eye and inside the eye. The slit lamp is a key tool to determine your overall eye health and detect eye disease.   


The TearScience® LipiScan® Dynamic Meibomian Imager may be used to determine if your meibomian glands are blocked, which can cause uncomfortable dry eye symptoms. The procedure is quick and painless and enables your doctor to accurately assess the health of your meibomian glands.  

Schirmer’s Test   

Schirmer’s Test, also known as the dry eye test, may be performed during your eye exam. During the test, we’ll apply numbing drops to both your eyes and gently place a small strip of nontoxic filter paper inside your lower eyelids. You’ll then be asked to close your eyes for about five minutes, allowing your eyes to produce tears that will be soaked up by the filter paper.   

We’ll then remove the filter paper from your eyes and measure the amount of moisture on the paper in millimeters. If the measurement is lower than five millimeters, this is a sign of tear production deficiency. If the measurement is over fifteen millimeters, this indicates an overproduction of tears.   

Oculus Keratograph 5M

We use advanced technology called the OCULUS Keratograph 5M to examine your eyes. The Keratograph 5M has a high-resolution color camera and is equipped with intelligent software to analyze the collected data and document the findings. It can also compare results from before and after treatment to see if dry eye treatment is successful.

Treatment for Dry Eye at Ensight Eyecare

If you’ve been diagnosed with dry eye, Dr. James Barton will create a custom treatment plan for you. We offer different treatment options for patients suffering from dry eye, including heat eye pads, Oasis drops, wipes, and sprays not available over the counter.

We also provide treatments in our office for people suffering from dry eye due to meibomian gland dysfunction. Learn more about LipiFlow and TempSure Envi treatment for dry eye.


TempSure Envi

Schedule a Comprehensive Eye Exam at Ensight Eyecare  

If you’ve been suffering from the symptoms of dry eye disease, book an appointment at Ensight Eyecare today. We can help you find relief!