It’s important to get prompt diagnosis and treatment for dry eyes. That’s because dry eye syndrome can worsen over time. If the cause is chronically inflamed glands, it can lead to irreversible damage.
If you’re one of the millions of Americans with dry eye syndrome, you know the redness, irritation, blurriness, and gritty feeling it can cause. Whether dry eye is caused by a related disease, a hormone imbalance, or too much screen time, Duke corneal specialists can assess your condition and recommend the treatment plan that’s best for you.
Should You See a Doctor for Dry Eye?
Duke Health offers locations throughout the Triangle. Find one near you.
A comprehensive dry eye evaluation will determine which type of dry eye you have -- evaporative dry eye or aqueous-deficient dry eye -- and help your doctor recommend the most appropriate treatment. Your evaluation may include one or more of these tests:
This exam determines how well you can read letters on a standardized chart.
This test measures your eye pressure to determine your risk for glaucoma.
Slit Lamp Exam
This exam provides a magnified 3D view of the structures at the front of your eye.
Dilating drops eye drops enlarge your pupils so your doctor can evaluate the inner structures of your eye.
Stains are carefully placed on the surface of your eye to detect patterns created by cells damaged by dry eye.
Strips held under your eyelid measure your tear production.
Digital images measure the thickness of the oil (lipid) layer of the tear film. This test helps your eye doctor determine if you have evaporative dry eye disease.
Non-Contact Tear Break-Up Time
This test creates images of the surface of your eye and measures how quickly the tear film breaks up on your eye’s surface.
Tear Osmolarity Testing
A small computerized device quickly touches the white part of your eye to capture a microscopic amount of tears. The test determines the severity of your dry eye disease by measuring the salt content of your tears.
Meibomian Gland Imaging
This noninvasive imaging technology helps your doctor assess the lipid layer of your tear film as well as the anatomy and structure of the oil-producing glands in your eyelids. This can help determine the cause of dry eye.
Where you receive your care matters. Duke University Hospital is proud of our team and the exceptional care they provide. They are why our ophthalmology program is ranked seventh in the nation and is the highest-ranked program in North Carolina, according to U.S. News & World Report for 2023–2024.
Seek Dry Eye Care From an Experienced Ophthalmologist
National Leaders in Dry Eye Syndrome
Our ophthalmologists travel the country to lecture and teach courses on dry eye procedures. Our extensive experience and knowledge mean you receive care from some of the best corneal specialists in the country.
Latest Retinal Imaging Devices
We use sophisticated imaging devices and noninvasive testing to evaluate the condition of your eyes and determine the best treatment for your individual needs.
Advanced Dry Eye Treatments
Our eye specialists are among the few in the country with extensive training in the most advanced dry-eye treatments available: intense pulsed light therapy and the LipiFlow thermal pulsation system.
Fast and Convenient Treatment Options
Many treatments for dry eye can be done in the convenience and comfort of our offices. The procedures are quick and require very little downtime, so you feel better faster.