Dry Eyes

Sunset Optometric Center

Optometrist located in Los Feliz, Los Angeles, CA

Scratchy, itchy, painful, or red eyes that persist may be a sign that you have a condition known as dry eye. Dr. Romeo J. Garza or Dr. Aira Canlas at Sunset Optometric Center in Los Feliz, California can remedy dry eye with medications or surgery. If you’re a woman or man in the Los Angeles area with dry eye, book an appointment online or call the friendly staff.

Dry Eyes Q & A

Sunset Optometric Center

What is dry eye?

Dry eye occurs when the quantity of your tears decreases or the healthy balance of your tear composition goes awry.

Tears are more than just salty water. Tears in healthy eyes contain oily lubricants that moisturize and protect your eyes and mucus that helps the tears spread evenly. Tears even have antibodies to reduce the risk of infection.

How do I know if I have dry eye?

If your eyes frequently feel dry or scratchy, you may have dry eye. Other symptoms of dry eye include:

  • Feeling like there’s something in your eye
  • Excessive or deficient tears
  • Discharge
  • Red eyes
  • Pain
  • Heavy eyelids
  • Blurred vision

What are the risk factors for dry eye?

Dry eye is most common in men and women over the age of 50. Postmenopausal women are especially susceptible to dry eye. You are more at risk for dry eye if you have allergies, an autoimmune disorder, or another health condition, such as rosacea or diabetes.

Some other risk factors are:

  • Medications, including birth control and antihistamines
  • Vitamin A deficiency
  • Dry environments
  • Smoking
  • Exposure to wind, sun, or smoke
  • Prolonged screen time
  • Laser eye surgery
  • Eyelids that don’t close properly

How can I treat my dry eye?

If you suspect your environment or habits cause your dry eye, small changes like cutting down on screen time and taking frequent eye-rest breaks may help. Closing your eyes for a moment and then blinking rapidly could renew your tear production.

Some cases of dry eye respond well to warm compresses on the eyelids. If you suspect that the sun irritates and dries your eyes, try wraparound sunglasses. Be sure to consult your optometrist if these remedies do not help.

How does an optometrist treat my dry eye?

Dr. Canlas or Dr. Garza at Sunset Optometric diagnoses your dry eye to determine the underlying cause. Treatments may include:

  • Over-the-counter artificial tears, gels, and ointments
  • Prescription eye drops with steroids
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Punctal plugs that close the duct that drains tears from your eye


Punctal plugs are a temporary way to create a build-up of tears on the eye’s surface. If the plugs work, your optometrist may recommend punctal cautery surgery to close the tear ducts permanently.

Don’t suffer from dry eye: Call the expert optometrists at Sunset Optometric Centers today, or use the online appointment form.