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503.297.4718

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Services

Dry Eye Treatment

Dry Eye Treatment | Uveitis Treatment | Portland OR | St. Vincent ORDry eye is a common condition that occurs when the eyes are insufficiently moisturized, leading to itching, redness and pain from dry spots on the surface of the eye. The eyes may become dry and irritated because the tear ducts don't produce enough tears, or because the tears themselves have a chemical imbalance.

Patients with this condition often experience irritating symptoms and can suffer from more serious vision damage if this condition is left untreated. It is important for patients with this condition to take special care of their eyes in order to alleviate symptoms and prevent complications. Your doctor can diagnose dry eye after a thorough evaluation of your eye and tear production through a Schirmer tear test.

Causes of Dry Eye

People usually begin experiencing dry eye symptoms as they age, but the condition can also result from certain medications, conditions or injuries. Dry eye tends to affect women more often than men, as the hormonal changes that take place during pregnancy, menopause and with the effects of oral contraceptives can affect the consistency of tears. It is also more common in people over the age of 50. Other causes may include:

  • Medications such as antihistamines, decongestants, blood pressure medications and antidepressants
  • Conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and thyroid problems
  • Environmental conditions such as smoke, wind and dry climates
  • Long-term contact lens use
  • Refractive surgery

These factors can affect the frequency or consistency of tears, both of which can lead to dry eyes. Our natural tears require a certain chemical balance in order to efficiently moisturize the eyes.

Treatment

Treatment for dry eye depends on the cause and severity of the condition, as well as the patient's overall health and personal preference. Non-surgical treatments are often effective, and may include blinking exercises, increasing humidity at home or work, and use of artificial tears or moisturizing ointment. Prescription eye drops are also available to increase tear production.

If these methods fail, small punctal plugs may be inserted in the corners of the eyes to limit tear drainage, or the drainage tubes in the eyes may be surgically closed. Eyelid surgery is also a solution if an eyelid condition is causing your dry eyes. Treating the underlying cause of dry eyes can also help relieve the symptoms of this condition.

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Iritis

Iritis is an inflammation of the iris, which is the colored portion of the eye. The iris is part of the uvea, highly vascular fibrous tissue. This condition frequently manifests in young to middle-aged individuals and may only affect one eye. Iritis may be caused by trauma to the eye, an infection or the effects of certain diseases.

The symptoms usually develop quite quickly and unexpectedly, but in some individuals they form slowly. Distinguishing symptoms of iritis may include:

  • Irritation and redness of the eye
  • Eye pain
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Blurred vision

A diagnosis of iritis typically takes place after a physical examination of the eye. Your doctor may use a slit lamp to obtain a magnified view of the eye’s structures. In addition, when a light is focused on the unaffected eye, the eye with iritis will experience pain because the pupil will naturally constrict.

To treat iritis, the patient will be encouraged to wear dark glasses and take pupil dilating drops to relieve pain and pressure. Serious cases usually require extended use of steroid eye drops as well as oral steroids that suppress the immune system. When iritis results from an underlying condition such as herpes, AIDS or syphilis, the disease may need to be treated to see improvement in the eye and iritis may become a chronic problem.

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Uveitis Treatment

Uveitis is an irritation and swelling of the uvea, which is the highly vascular fibrous tissue that forms the iris, choroid, ciliary body, and pars plana. It can be caused by autoimmune disorders, infections or foreign toxins, but often the cause is unknown. It frequently manifests in young to middle-aged individuals and may only affect one eye.

The symptoms usually develop quite quickly and unexpectedly, but in some individuals they form slowly. Distinguishing symptoms of uveitis may include:

  • Irritation and redness of the eye
  • Eye pain
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Dark floaters and blurred vision

Dry Eye Treatment | Uveitis Treatment | Portland OR | St. Vincent ORThis may affect the front of the uvea (iritis), the back of the uvea, the middle (the vitreous) or the entire span of tissue. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis, AIDS, herpes syphilis and direct eye trauma have a higher risk for developing uveitis. If the disorder is not treated, permanent vision loss may result due to damage to the optic nerve. Additionally, there may be an increased risk of cataracts and glaucoma due to the eye's weakened condition.

There are several treatments for uveitis depending on what part of the eye is affected and how severely. In some cases, the underlying condition (herpes, AIDS, syphilis) may need to be treated to see improvements in the uveitis. Otherwise, the patient will be encouraged to wear dark glasses and take pupil dilating drops to relieve pain and pressure. Serious cases usually require extended use of steroid eye drops as well as oral steroids that suppress the immune system.

» Click here for additional information on Uveitis.


For more information about Our Services, contact our St. Vincent or Downtown location to schedule an appointment.

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