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Eye Watering and Excessive Tearing: Dry Eye

Oddly enough, if you are prone to excessive eye watering or tearing, you might actually have a condition called dry eye. Dry eye occurs when the eyes do not produce sufficient tears or the tears evaporate too quickly. There are two types of dry eye: 

  • Evaporative Dry Eye, accounting for 86% of all dry eye: caused by blockage to the eyelid glands (meibomian glands) which leads to a shortage of oil on the surface of the tears and quicker-than-normal tear evaporation 
  • Aqueous Dry Eye, accounting for 14% of all dry eye: occurs when the lacrimal glands do not produce enough tears

Dry eye can also be caused by Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) where the glands in your eyelids become inflamed or clogged, preventing the oily layer of your tears from properly lubricating your eyes. 

Symptoms of Dry Eye

Tears are necessary to help lubricate, protect and nourish our eyes. Without a steady flow of tears, eye irritation will result.

  • Watering/tearing
  • Itching 
  • Stinging 
  • Redness 
  • Light sensitivity
  • Eye fatigue
  • Blurry vision

Without proper treatment, inadequate tears can make daily activities frustrating, affecting your personal and professional life; activities like reading, watching TV, driving or working on the computer.

Watch the video below to learn more.

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Dry Eye Testing

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The best way to get relief from your dry eye symptoms is by having a professional assess your eye health. At Eugene Eye Clinic, we utilize two methods to get to the root cause of your symptoms so we can recommend effective treatments:  

  • TearLab Osmolarity System®
  • InflammaDry®

TearLab Osmolarity System

This evaluation is done to measure the saltiness of your tears (osmolarity). If your tears have excess salt content, this could be damaging the surface cells of your eyes. Only a tiny sample of tear fluid is needed to diagnose your tear fluid. This is a very quick and painless process that is done right in our office. Your tears will be graded on an osmolarity scale: normal, mild, moderate or severe. 


For some patients, inflammation is one of the earliest signs of dry eye – even before clinical signs are present. Our doctors use InflammaDry® technology to detect elevated levels of an inflammatory marker (MMP-9). This rapid result, in-office test measures MMP-9 levels in tear fluid samples taken from the inside of your lower eyelid. There are 4 simple steps in the process and the information gathered can help you get dry eye relief much quicker.  

Treatment for Dry Eye in Eugene, OR

For some patients, over-the-counter or prescription eye drops will provide relief for dry eye symptoms. However, if these are ineffective you may need to have an eye doctor assess your situation and determine the root cause of your dry eye. Knowing the reason for your dry eye symptoms is the only way to successfully treat this condition. Our dry eye specialists may recommend:  

  • Punctal plugs to prevent tear drainage from the eyes
  • RESTASIS® eye drops to increase tear production
  • CEQUA™ eye drops help your eyes produce and maintain natural tears
  • Xiidra® to treat eye inflammation

Punctal Plugs

Sometimes it is necessary to close the ducts that drain tears out of the eyes in order to treat symptoms of dry eye. These tiny plugs can be inserted to achieve better lubrication of the eyes.

  • Temporary punctal occlusion: Temporary plugs can be inserted into the tear drain of the lower eyelid to determine if this helps provide adequate tears. These plugs can be removable or dissolvable within a few days to a few months.
  • Permanent punctal occlusion: If the temporary plugs work well, our doctors may suggest permanent (yet removable) plugs. The goal is to provide adequate tears/lubrication, improve patient comfort and reduce the need for artificial tears. In rare cases the plugs may come out spontaneously or migrate down the tear drain.

Our doctors will measure your tear duct size to determine the right size and type of punctal plug to achieve the best results. 

Watch the video below to learn more.

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We offer RESTASIS® Ophthalmic Emulsion to treat the ongoing symptoms of chronic dry eye. These twice-daily prescription eye drops help increase your eye’s natural ability to produce tears. It may take up to 6 months for the product to take full effect; however, relief can begin after one month.  

RESTASIS drops are different from artificial tears that can be purchased over-the-counter. Those types of products simply provide temporary relief. RESTASIS is a longer-lasting, more effective solution and can be obtained by prescription only. Insurance coverage varies.

Watch the video below to learn more.

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CEQUA works by targeting inflammation, a common cause of chronic dry eye. This allows your eyes to produce and maintain their own natural tears. CEQUA eye drops are used daily, twice a day (12 hours apart), to reduce inflammation. This product is formulated with NCELL™ Technology, a system that surrounds the cyclosporine medication and delivers it to your eyes in an efficient manner. In clinical trials, most patients experienced significant improvement their eyes in the first two months and by the third month their eyes’ ability to produce natural tears significantly improved.


Some dry eye symptoms are caused by inflammation of your eye surface. We are proud to offer patients Xiidra prescription eye drops to provide relief. We recommend patients use these drops twice a day in the morning and evening, about 12 hours apart. 

If you are suffering with dry eye symptoms in Eugene, contact us today to schedule an eye exam and learn about your options for relief. 

Eye Clinic & Spectacle Shop

2460 Willamette St.
Eugene, OR 97405

Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00 AM to 5 PM