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Dry Eye Center

The American Academy of Ophthalmology estimates that over 4.8  million men and women in the United States over age 50 have dry eye disease. When over-the-counter eye drops are ineffective in helping control the constant irritations of this condition, it’s time to learn about more effective methods for relief. The most effective way to treat dry eye is to first learn why it is occurring.

A Difference You Can See

Dr. Pendleton and Dr. Butler use advanced techniques to identify the specific cause of dry eye and recommend the most effective treatment.

Types and Causes of Dry Eye Disease

You need a healthy tear film in order to coat, nourish and protect your cornea. The tear film is made up of three critical components: mucous, liquid, and oil.  When there is a shortage of any of these components, your eyes will feel irritated and vision may be affected.  In fact, fluctuations in vision with blinking may be the only symptom of dry eye disease in certain patients. There are different reasons why the tear film may not function properly, and often, multiple mechanisms are at play.

Evaporative Dry Eye

Oil producing meibomian glands located within the eyelids become blocked and atrophy so that there is not enough oil on the surface of the tear-film.  Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) is another term for Evaporative Dry Eye, and it is estimated 86% of all dry eye cases have some component of MGD.

Aqueous Dry Eye

Microscopic cells on the ocular surface do not produce enough liquid tears / mucous.

Incomplete Blinking

A critical function of the eyelids is to “paint” an even layer of tears over the surface of the eye with each blink. Some patients routinely make incomplete blinks, particularly when concentrating, and a portion of the cornea becomes dry.  Our LipiView technology will show you how your blink.


Abnormalities in eyelid position that occur with aging, such as ectropion, where the eyelid no longer rides snuggly along the eye surface, can prevent the tear film from reaching the entire eye surface. Additionally, some patients do not fully close their eyelids at night, when they sleep.

Symptoms of Dry Eye Disease

  • Redness
  • Feeling of grittiness or Foreign Body Sensation
  • Eye Pain
  • Light sensitivity
  • Itchy eyes
  • Crustiness
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Fluctuating vision
  • Blurred vision

Paradoxically, intermittent watering eyes can sometimes be triggered by underlying dry eye.  Microscopic cells on the surface are not producing “baseline” tears triggering the lacrimal glands to produce a flood of tears, much like crying.

Chart Ilustrating a Healthy Eye Compared To One Experiencing Dry Eye

Dry Eye Treatments

The right treatment depends on your type and severity of dry eye disease and often requires a combined approach.

  • Preservative free artificial tears
  • Serum Tears
  • Prescription medications such as RESTASIS® Ophthalmic Emulsion, XIIDRA©, or mild topical steroids
  • Punctal plugs so that your natural tears spend more time on the ocular surface
  • LipiFlow® Thermal Pulsation System for meibomian gland dysfunction
  • TearCare® System for evaporative dry eye disease due to meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD)
  • Amniotic Membrane Devices
  • Subconjunctival steroids
  • Eyelid surgery for eyelid malpositions

Discover TearCare® at Pendleton Eye Center—a targeted therapy for adult patients with evaporative dry eye due to meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). Our specialists apply localized heat therapy combined with manual expression of the meibomian glands, ensuring a comprehensive approach to alleviate dry eye symptoms. Experience personalized care and find relief with TearCare®. Schedule a consultation today.

The LipiView device is a cutting-edge technology used at Pendleton Eye Center to diagnose and treat dry eye syndrome effectively. By capturing high-definition images of the tear film and conducting meibomian gland imaging to assess lipid layer thickness, LipiView helps in evaluating the root cause of dry eye symptoms. This comprehensive information enables personalized treatment plans, including targeted therapies such as LipiFlow. LipiFlow clears blocked meibomian glands to restore proper tear function and alleviate dry eye discomfort, offering patients lasting relief and improved eye health.

LipiFlow Thermal Pulsation System

The doctors at Pendleton Eye Center can fully assess the quality of your tear film, the status of your meibomian glands, and the completeness of your blinking using the LipiView II® Ocular Surface Interferometer.

If he determines you have Evaporative Dry Eye/Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, he may then be able to provide relief using the LipiFlow Thermal Pulsation treatment.  Using both heat and gentle pressure, Lipiflow is a “deep cleaning” treatment that unblocks the meibomian glands so that they may resume production of healthy tear-film oil.

If chronic, severe dry eye is causing you discomfort due to corneal damage or inflammation, our team may recommend an amniotic membrane device. The device, which is inserted onto the surface of your eye for several days, is made up of two plastic rings with a thin piece of amniotic membrane tissue in between. The science behind this technique is that growth factors within the amniotic tissue will diffuse into and heal your corneal surface quickly, resulting in less pain, scarring and inflammation. The amniotic tissue used is provided by a tissue bank regulated by the FDA and has passed numerous quality control tests making it safe and effective. The amniotic device is not permanent; it is removed after a few days when your corneal surface has healed.

If tears are escaping your eyes too quickly, our team may recommend that the tear drains be plugged using punctal plugs. Temporary, dissolvable or permanent plugs may be inserted into the drain of the lower eyelid to improve eye lubrication.

Eye drops/medications play a crucial role in the management and treatment of dry eye syndrome. At Pendleton Eye Center, we offer a range of effective eye drop solutions tailored to address the diverse needs of our patients suffering from dry eyes. Some of our most prescribed solutions include:

  • RESTASIS: Prescription eye drops that effectively reduce inflammation and boost tear production, providing lasting relief for chronic dry eye symptoms.
  • Xiidra: Another prescription option, Xiidra eye drops work to reduce inflammation and enhance tear production, offering significant relief for individuals experiencing dry eye symptoms.
  • Tyraya: This innovative solution combines azithromycin and cyclosporine to target inflammation and bacterial growth in the eyelids, addressing both the symptoms and underlying causes of dry eye effectively.
  • Eysuvis: Designed as a corticosteroid eye drop, Eysuvis provides rapid relief from dry eye discomfort by swiftly reducing inflammation in the eyes, improving overall comfort and vision quality.

These advanced eye drop solutions at Pendleton Eye Center are carefully selected to provide optimal results and enhance the ocular health and well-being of our patients dealing with dry eye syndrome.

The team at Pendleton Eye Center may recommend autologous serum tears for the treatment of Dry Eye. These are tears that are made from your own (autologous) blood (serum). The serum is effective because of its ability to mimic your natural tears. Unlike artificial tears, these drops have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and, because they are derived from your own body, they may be better tolerated by individuals with chemical sensitivities. Serum tears are prescribed for acute and chronic phases of dry eye.

Schedule a Consultation

To learn more about dry eye in Oceanside, California, contact us today.

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Optical Shop
(760) 758-2008


Serving North San Diego County


3637 Vista Way
Oceanside, CA 92056

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