Woman rubbing eyes

Dry Eyes Syndrome

Dry eyes syndrome causes many uncomfortable symptoms, such as excess watering and irritation. In some cases, it can compromise your vision.

Dr. Walter Choate serving Nashville, TN and Goodlettsville, offers many treatments to improve tear quality and provide relief.

How can Dr. Choate help me?

Woman rubbing eyes

Treatment Depends on the Type of Dry Eye Syndrome

Evaporative Dry Eye

The Meibomian glands produce oil that keeps tears from evaporating too quickly. Blockage of these glands accounts for about 86 percent of all dry eye cases.

Aqueous Tear-Deficient Dry Eye

Tears must consist of the right balance of oil, water, and mucus. Dry eyes are sometimes the result of the lacrimal gland failing to produce enough water, which causes unstable tear film.

Gender, Medications,  and other Risk Factors

You face an increased risk of developing dry eye syndrome if you:

  • Are a woman
  • Take antidepressants, birth control, acne meds, or antihistamines
  • Suffer from rosacea or blepharitis
  • Suffer from thyroid disorders, diabetes, or rheumatoid arthritis
  • Work or spend time in windy or dusty conditions

How These Factors Cause Dry Eyes

Imbalanced Tears

Blepharitis and rosacea are both associated with Meibomian gland blockages, which result in tears with insufficient oil.

Reduced Tears

The function of the lacrimal glands can be compromised by medications and medical conditions, resulting in insufficient tears.

Rapid Tear Evaporation

Living, working, or spending time in dry, windy, or smoky environments can cause the tears to evaporate too quickly, resulting in dry eyes.

Millions of Patients Struggle with Dry Eye

We Use Advanced Technology in the Diagnosis of Dry Eye 

Our office is equipped with some of the most advanced technology in Nashville. After reviewing your dry eye symptoms, Dr. Choate will conduct a thorough clinical evaluation using: 

  • Slit lamp examinations and anterior segment photography
  • Schirmer tear tests and tear analysis 
  • LipiScan™ and infrared imaging of the meibomian glands 

These tests will help Dr. Choate identify the cause of your dry eye symptoms so that he can prescribe the most appropriate treatment possible.


Tips for Preventing Dry Eye 

Although there is no sure way to prevent the onset of dry eye, you can reduce the risk of developing the symptoms by: 

  • Wearing protective eyewear when participating in outdoor activities or when conditions are windy
  • Quitting smoking and avoiding exposure to cigarette smoke altogether
  • Eating foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as flaxseed, fish, walnuts, and eggs 
  • Using a humidifier in your home to prevent a dry environment 

A 5-Star Review for Friendly & Helpful Care

"Dr. Choate and staff are always friendly and helpful.  I first went to him for chronic dry eyes in 2009 and he has really helped improve the health of my eyes." Sky H.

Our Comprehensive Dry Eye Center Offers Many Alternative Treatments

Treating dry eye syndrome begins with determining the cause. Following your initial consultation, Dr. Choate will do a complete dry eye work-up to analyze tear quantity and quality. This will enable him to determine the most effective course of treatment for your case. Our other treatments include:

  • Hot compresses
  • Antibiotic lid scrubs
  • Nutraceuticals such as antioxidants and fish oil high in EPA and DHA
  • Restasis®
  • Multiple types of artificial tears and steroids
  • Punctal plugs

How Much Does Treatment Cost?

The cost of treating dry eyes in Nashville depends primarily on your needs. This is largely due to the fact that while some treatments are covered by insurance, other treatments, such as LipiFlow and ThermiEyes, are not. The good news is that even though these advanced options require a greater out-of-pocket expense, they are not cost-prohibitive, and the results can last for one to two years. If you are unable to pay for these treatments upfront, we are glad to help you apply for CareCredit®, a financing option that can allow you to pay for treatment in low-interest and interest-free installments.

With today's reliance on computers, smart phones, and other visual media, it's no wonder that dry eye syndrome has become so prevalent. Staring at a computer screen or smart phone for hours at a time can leave your eyes feeling dry and irritated. Of course, dry eye syndrome also has roots in physical problems such as the inability to produce enough tears and blocked oil glands. Dr. Walter Choate offers comprehensive examinations to determine the cause of dry eye syndrome at his Nashville practice. If you suffer from dry eye, he can create a personalized treatment plan that will help you find relief.

What Is Dry Eye Syndrome?

Dry eye syndrome is a condition in which the eyes are chronically red, dry and irritated. The condition was once believed to be primarily caused by the lack of tear production; however, recent studies suggest that tear quality may be more of a factor.. Tear quality is important as tears coat the eyes with a protective film that also serves to help focus light as it enters the eye. This film is made up of an aqueous layer, a substance called mucin, and an oily outer layer to prevent evaporation. Sometimes the meibomian glands, which produce the oil for the tears, don't function properly, resulting in tears that are not oily enough to prevent evaporation. When tear quality is the cause of dry eye syndrome, the condition is referred to as evaporative dry eye. Older people are more prone to experiencing dry eye syndrome, with more women being more susceptible to the condition than men.

Symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye syndrome has many symptoms ranging from the mild to the severe. Common symptoms of dry eye syndrome include:

  • Gritty feeling eyes
  • Irritated eyes
  • Burning eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Stabbing pain
  • Eye strain

Causes of Dry Eyes Syndrome

The causes of dry eye syndrome can be both environmental and congenital. For some people, dry eye syndrome is directly related to their computer use; for others, it may be an indication of a glandular problem. Potential causes of dry eye syndrome include:

  • Prolonged staring at computer or smart phone screen
  • Inadequate blinking which is often a result of staring at a computer screen all day
  • Meibomian gland dysfunction
  • Hormonal changes
  • Inflammation
  • Aging
  • Low-humidity environment such as an air-conditioned office
  • Certain autoimmune diseases
  • Antihistamines and antidepressants
  • Eye makeup
  • Contact lenses

Schedule a Consultation

You don't have to live with the pain and irritation of dry eye syndrome. For more information about dry eye syndrome or other conditions such as macular degeneration, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Choate.

Dr. Choate

Choate Eye Associates

Choate Eye Associates has been delivering high-quality, compassionate eye care to the Nashville community since 1979. We are affiliated with various leading organizations in the field, including: 

  • American Academy of Optometry
  • American Optometric Association 
  • National Board of Examiners in Optometry 

To schedule a consultation at our practice, call us at (615) 851-7575 or request an appointment online

Contact Us Today

"I am very pleased with the attention I received at Choate Eye Associates. Dr. Choate is very thorough and does a wonderful job of explaining what he is doing and what he is looking for in the exam." Dianal - Comprehensive Eye Care Patient

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Goodlettsville Office

306 Northcreek Blvd
Ste 101
Goodlettsville, TN 37072

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