Ophthalmology Procedures

Dry Eye Syndrome Treatment in Chicago, IL

The Kraff Eye Institute can assist if you suffer from Dry Eye Syndrome. This condition, caused by inadequate tear production from the tear glands, can be managed with an appropriate treatment plan. Our staff will help you to determine the underlying causes and find the best cure.

What Is Dry Eye Disease?

dry eye disease

Dry Eye Disease, also called keratoconjunctivitis sicca, is very common.

It affects millions of people every year and occurs when your eyes don't make enough natural tears to stay wet and lubricated or when your tears evaporate too quickly.

This can be irritating and, in some cases, can even interfere with the quality of the vision. The risk of developing dry eye increases with age and is often seen in post-menopausal women.

Types of Dry Eye Disease

Most assume that dry eye disease means your eyes don't produce sufficient tears; however, this is only one aspect of the condition. There are several types of dry eye disease:

  • Aqueous deficient dry eye: Located in the upper outer corner of each eye, the lacrimal gland manufactures aqueous tears, which compose the watery middle layer of the tear film. When your eyes are not producing sufficient tears, it is likely due to an underlying autoimmune condition causing inflammation of the lacrimal gland;
  • Evaporative dry eye: When your tears evaporate too quickly, it is likely due to meibomian gland dysfunction. This is a condition where the glands in the eyelids that produce the outer oily layer of the tear film do not work as they should. Because of this, the oil layer is unstable and can't protect the watery layer from becoming dehydrated;
  • Mixed dry eye: Some individuals suffer from aqueous tear deficiency and instability, which can develop symptoms of dry eye. Aqueous tear deficiency occurs when the eyes cannot produce enough tears, and tear instability occurs when the tear film is unstable. Both of these issues could cause discomfort and lead to dry eye conditions.

What Are Dry Eye Symptoms, and How Is It Diagnosed?

dry eye causes

Dry Eye can present with several symptoms and is typically self-diagnosable.

Tell-tale signs include:

  • Dryness sensation
  • Eye discomfort (burning, stinging, itching)
  • Foreign body sensation on the eye's surface
  • Redness
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Stringy mucus in or around the eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty wearing contact lenses
  • Increased eye fatigue
  • Dryness of the nose and mouth

Your doctor will check for dry eye as part of a comprehensive dilated eye exam. During the exam, you'll receive eye drops that dilate (widen) the pupil. As well as inspecting the structure of your eyelids, your doctor will examine your tear production and how long tear evaporation takes.

Types of Treatments for Dry Eye Syndrome

Treatment for dry eye usually depends on the symptoms' underlying causes. Several treatment options can improve symptoms and keep your eyes healthy.

Schedule Consultation

If you are ready to address your red, irritated, dry eyes, call the Kraff Eye Institute today and schedule a comprehensive eye exam. Dry eye can be annoying, and the experts at the Kraff Eye Institute are ready to bring you comfort. You can simply CALL US at 312-757-7335 or make an appointment using the online forms at the link below.

Schedule Consultation
Vision Solutions

Lipiflow Dry Eye Treatment

The Lipiflow dry eye treatment is a quick and painless procedure done right in your doctor's office.  The Lipiflow uses sterile activators that are gently placed under the eyelids. The activators create a series of warm pulsations, which will gently unclog the oil glands in the eye lids. By unclogging these glands, it allows your eyes natural oils to mix with your tear film to prevent the tear film from evaporating and causing the eyes to feel dry. 

meibomian gland dysfunction

OTC Eye Drops

Over the counter eye drops are a common treatment for mild dry eye symptoms. You can purchase them without a prescription, and they can be used as often as you would like. For night time treatment, you can also purchase moisturizing gels and ointments that help to keep the eyes moist while sleeping.

eyes lubricated

Dry Eye Prescriptions

In cases that are more serious, you may be given a prescription by your doctor. Two of the most commonly prescribed medicines are Restasis and Xiidra. Both medications work by helping your eyes to produce more of your own tears.

hormonal changes

Lifestyle Adjustments

If something in your environment is causing your dry eyes, your doctor may suggest some changes. Try to avoid smoking, limit screen time, use a humidifier if your home is dry, drink plenty of water and get adequate amounts of sleep. These are all simple changes that can make significant improvements in the way the eyes feel.

tear instability

Tear Duct Plugs

If the tears in your eye are draining too quickly, your doctor may suggest putting a special plug (called punctal plugs) into your tear ducts. These plugs can keep the tears in your eyes longer.

produce enough tears

Dry Eye Surgery

Dry eye is rarely treated with surgery, but in the rare instance that the lower eyelids are too loose, causing tears to drain too quickly, your doctor may suggest surgery to repair the eyelids so the tears remain in the eye.

symptoms of dry eye

IPL for Dry Eye

Intense Pulsed Light Therapy is an advanced treatment that uses powerful bursts of light at specific wavelengths to reduce inflammation of the lower eyelids that can cause dry eye.

Common Causes of Dry Eye Syndrome

A variety of reasons can cause Dry Eyes. Disruption to the healthy tear film that usually keeps the surface of your eyes lubricated, smooth and clear is the main culprit.

Reasons for this tear film disruption are many and can include:

  • Hormonal changes
  • Inflammation of the eyelid glands
  • Allergic eye disease
  • Decreased tear film production
  • Medical conditions such as Sjogren's syndrome, arthritis, lupus, and thyroid disorders
  • Certain medications, including antihistamines, decongestants, and antidepressants
  • Eyelid problems, such as the lids turning inward or outward
  • Wind, smoke, or dry air

If you are ready to address your red, irritated, dry eyes, call the Kraff Eye Institute today and schedule a comprehensive eye exam. Dry eye can be annoying, and the experts at the Kraff Eye Institute are ready to bring you comfort. You can simply CALL US or make an appointment using the online forms at the link below.

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LASIK Cost in Chicago

How Much Does Dry Eye Treatment Cost?

Dry Eye Treatment can range from very affordable to more expensive. Over the counter tears are a very cost effective treatment but may not work for everyone. Lipiflow is an option that is more expensive, and is typically not covered by major medical insurance.

Dry Eye Treatment Financial Options

The Kraff Eye Institute is a proud partner of CareCredit, America's top patient payment program. CareCredit will allow you to start your dry eye treatment, then pay for it at your convenience with low monthly payments.

About Our Dry Eye Syndrome Doctors

With over 30 years of experience, Dr. Colman Kraff is committed to providing the safest and most effective care and treatment options for all his patients. Dr. Kraff is dedicated to staying up to date with new and upcoming treatment options so he can always offer his patients the most up-to-date therapies.

Schedule Your Dry Eye Consultation Today!

To schedule a consultation for your dry eye syndrome, call our office at 312-757-7335 or make an appointment using the online forms at the link below.

Schedule Consultation
Dry Eye Consultation


Who’s at risk of developing a dry eye disease?

Expand F.A.Q.

Several factors can make you more likely to experience dry eyes. These factors include being older than 50; tear production tends to diminish as we age. A lack of adequate tear film is more common in women.

This is especially true during hormonal changes or menopause. Having a diet low in vitamin A can amplify dry eyes. Wearing contact lenses or having recently had refractive eye surgery can also cause the eyes to feel dry.

What are the possible complications of dry eye syndrome?

Expand F.A.Q.

People with long-term dry eyes can suffer from potential complications. Without the tear film, which normally serves as the eyes' primary protection from germs, the risk of infections increases. If left untreated, the issue could worsen, causing inflammation, abrasions, and eye ulcers. Dry eyes can also affect an individual's daily activities, including reading and driving.

How to prevent dry eye?

Expand F.A.Q.

By following a few simple tips, you can help prevent your dry eye symptoms. Avoid air blowing into your eyes, and use a humidifier in your home and workspace to increase the moisture in the air. 

Wearing sunglasses is another great way to block wind and dry air, and taking regular breaks while using a computer or digital device can help. Additionally, quitting smoking also reduces dry eye symptoms. You can also use artificial tears even when your eyes don't feel dry can help keep them lubricated.

When Should you Talk to a Doctor About Your Dry Eye Syndrome?

Expand F.A.Q.

If you have any of the following symptoms related to your eyes, it is best to contact your eye care professional: red or painful eyes, discharge, soreness on the eyelid, injuries, drooping of the eyelid, or difficulty treating dry eyes.