Dry Eye

Everyone experiences dry eyes from time to time, but for some of our patients, dry eye is a chronic, persistent condition. In fact, up to 16 million people in the United States experience chronic dry eye, known as Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source Prevalence of Diagnosed Dry Eye Disease in the United States Among Adults Aged 18 Years and Older Farrand KF, Fridman M, Stillman IÖ, Schaumberg DA Go to Source dry eye syndrome . Over-the-counter remedies may provide temporary relief, but dry eye syndrome often requires professional treatment. For patients in the Denver, Northglenn, and Westminster, Colorado areas and beyond, our eye care experts can diagnose the cause of dry eye and provide effective treatment for lasting relief.

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What is Dry Eye Syndrome?

Dry eye syndrome (or dry eye disease) is a common eye condition where the eye does not produce enough tears or has a malfunctioning tear duct that prevents eye lubrication. If left untreated, this eye condition can lead to Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source What is Dry Eye? American Academy of Ophthalmology Go to Source permanent vision problems , such as pain, ulcers, and loss of vision.

Dry Eye Symptoms

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you may have dry eye syndrome:

  • Burning or stinging sensation in the eyes
  • Chronic itchy eyes or the feeling of something inside your eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Excessive eye discharge
  • Red or irritated eyes
  • Difficulty wearing contact lenses
  • Excessive tearing
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Watery eyes

What Causes Dry Eye?

Potential causes of dry eye include:

  • Dietary factors
  • Environmental factors such as dust, wind, smoke, or pollutants
  • Wearing contact lenses for too long
  • Screen time
  • Medications such as antihistamines, birth control pills, antidepressants, diuretics, and blood pressure medications
  • Menopause or hormonal fluctuations
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Thyroid disease
  • Diabetes
  • Lupus
  • Sjogren’s syndrome
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Blepharitis
  • Eyelid disorders (entropion and ectropion)


How do Tears Work?

When you blink, tears moisturize your eyes and cleanse them of debris. The tear film has three layers: a lipid (or oil) layer, an aqueous layer, and a mucin layer. Ideally, a balance is reached between the quality of your tears and the amount of tears produced.
graphic of how tears work for dry eye

Types of Dry Eye

Aqueous-Deficient Dry Eye

Aqueous-deficient dry eye is caused by a poor balance in the water part of tears. This type of dry eye can often be alleviated with over-the-counter eye drops.

Evaporative Dry Eye

Evaporative dry eye is caused by a different when there is a deficiency in the lipid, or oil, layer of the tear film. The lipid layer makes it possible for the aqueous layer of tears to hold moisture, so when there is not enough oil in the tears they evaporate more quickly.

Meibomian Gland Dysfunction

Meibomian gland dysfunction is the cause of dry eye syndrome in the majority of Dr. Montgomery’s patients. The meibomian glands produce the lipid layer of tears, and when they become blocked it can lead to evaporative dry eye. Another common side effect of meibomian gland dysfunction is blepharitis, which is caused by an accumulation of bacteria inflammatory mediators on or under the eyelids. Blepharitis can also cause dry eye.

Home Remedies for Dry Eye Syndrome

Many people who suffer from dry eye are able to achieve relief through over-the-counter or home remedies, including:
Environmental changes: Simple changes like turning fans away, using a humidifier, wearing contact lenses less frequently, and reducing screen time may help.
A warm compress: Hold a warm, moist washcloth over your eyes for at least 15 minutes.
Artificial tears: Over-the-counter eye drops can often provide temporary relief from dry eye. Be sure to use lubricating eye drops that are free of preservatives, not just drops designed to alleviate redness.
Vitamins and supplements: Omega-3 fatty acids and eye health supplements may be beneficial for tear production.

Professional Dry Eye Treatment

When home remedies fail to alleviate dry eye symptoms, it’s time for professional treatment. During your dry eye consultation with Dr. Montgomery, he will determine the right course of treatment for you through a detailed eye exam. In order to determine the root cause, he will perform a series of tests and ask questions about your lifestyle, medications, and diet.

Dr. Montgomery offers a range of dry eye treatments, including:

  • Punctal plugs
  • Prescription eye drops
  • Prescription medications
  • Eyelid surgery
  • Medical eye scrubs for at-home use

Frequently Asked Questions About Dry Eye

How can my watery eyes be caused by dry eye syndrome?

It does seem like a contradiction that dry eye syndrome can cause the eyes to water excessively. The eyes often counteract dryness caused by rapid tear evaporation, poor tear quality, or insufficient tear production by rapidly producing more tears.

Will insurance cover my dry eye treatment?

Some dry eye treatments are covered by insurance, but not all. When you come to see us for a dry eye consultation, we can help you learn more about insurance coverage.

Is it necessary to treat my dry eye syndrome?

Yes. Dry eye syndrome is more than an uncomfortable annoyance: poor eye lubrication can lead to corneal damage, recurring eye infections, ulcers, and other serious eye health threats.

Contact Montgomery Eye Care

If you live in or near Denver, Northglenn, or Westminster, Colorado and you suffer from the uncomfortable symptoms of dry eye syndrome, Dr. Montgomery can help. Contact us today to schedule your dry eye consultation.

5-Star Rating!

I have been getting treated by Dr Montgomery for many years! 15 to be exact and when I told him I wanted to get lasik surgery he suggested I don’t because of my chronic dry eyes. However, with his care and his instructions I was able to get there. Today I can see 20/20 and I couldn’t be happier!


Life changing experience. Dr Montgomery is a true professional who happens to be extremely kind and caring. I have enjoyed working with him and his team.


Dr Montgomery has been my ophthalmologist for several years, I highly recommend him. He always takes the time to answer all my questions. He is compassionate to my concerns re eye surgery and I have grown to trust and respect him a lot.

Estella Z

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1 Farrand KF, Fridman M, Stillman IÖ, Schaumberg DA. Prevalence of Diagnosed Dry Eye Disease in the United States Among Adults Aged 18 Years and Older. Am J Ophthalmol. 2017 Oct;182:90-98. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2017.06.033. Epub 2017 Jul 10. PMID: 28705660. Available: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28705660/. Accessed December 27, 2022.

2 American Academy of Ophthalmology. What is Dry Eye? Available: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-is-dry-eye/ Accessed December 27, 2022.

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