Are you having back pain with any of the following?

  • Severe pain, weakness or tingling in your leg(s).
  • Difficulty stopping urination or loss of control of bladder or bowels.
  • Unexplained fever, nausea or vomiting.
  • A history of cancer or unexplained weight loss.

We understand that you are experiencing one or more of the health issues that might be impacting your back pain.

We recommend that you discuss these health issues with your doctor before proceeding with this program.

Once you are cleared by your doctor to do this program, we hope it helps you find relief from your back pain.

Provider photo for Eun-Ha Park

Eun-Ha Park, MD

Ophthalmology

Welcome to My Doctor Online, a website my colleagues and I developed to make it easier for you to take care of your healthcare needs. On this site you will find answers to many of your questions about my clinical practice. Also included are several online features that will allow you to e-mail me, check your laboratory results and refill prescriptions. If you are a patient who sees me regularly, you can reach my office directly at 650-301-5807

My Offices

Daly City Medical Offices
Appt/Advice: 650-301-5800

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Overview

Your eyes produce tears all the time. Every time you blink a film of tears spreads over the front of your eyes. This keeps them moist and clean and your vision clear. Dry eye syndrome occurs when:

  • The tear glands don’t produce enough tears.
  • The tear film dries out and evaporates.
Treatment can help make your eyes more comfortable. Treatments include eye drops and surgery.

 

Symptoms

Common symptoms include:

  • Irritation.
  • Redness.
  • Sandy or gritty feeling in the eye.
  • Burning or stinging.
  • Tiredness.
  • Watering, especially in windy situations. Irritation causes a gush of tears from the main tear-producing gland. These are not lubricating tears, so they don’t relieve the dryness.
  • Worsening vision. This can happen with severe dry eye syndrome.

Screening and Diagnosis

If your symptoms improve when you use artificial tears or lubricating eye drops, dry eye syndrome is the most likely diagnosis. We will confirm this during an eye exam. We will:

  • Ask you about your symptoms.
  • Examine your eyes.
  • Check the quality of your tear film.
  • Evaluate the amount of tears your eyes produce.
  • Review your medical history. This may indicate an underlying condition that may cause dry eye syndrome.

Treating the underlying cause such as blepharitis or rosacea may improve the symptoms. Generally, treatment is aimed at controlling symptoms, as there is no cure for dry eyes.

Causes and Risk Factors

The causes of dry eye syndrome include:

  • Normal aging.
  • Imbalance in the layers of the tear film.
  • Drop in natural tear production, which causes the tear film to dry out rapidly.
  • Allergies.
  • Eye injuries.
  • Medications, such as antihistamines and sleeping pills. Blood pressure medication and pain relievers can also contribute. 

Some conditions and surgeries can make dry eye symptoms worse. These include:

  • Blepharitis
  • Sticky or crusty eyelids
  • Rosacea
  • Thyroid disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Laser vision correction
  • Contact lenses

Environmental conditions – such as wind, dust, smoke, and dry weather – can also make symptoms worse.

 

Artificial Tears and Lubricating Drops

Artificial tears and lubricating eye drops can control symptoms. You may need to experiment to find a product that works for you.

  • Preservative-free eye drops are a good option if you use drops frequently. They are also the best choice if you are sensitive or allergic to preservatives. Use them as needed, typically 4 times a day.
  • Drops and gels that improve tear volume or reduce evaporation include Blink, Hypotears, Refresh, and Systane. You may benefit from Restasis, which requires a prescription.
  • Gel-type drops may provide more relief. They may blur your vision when you first put them in.

To use eye drops, tilt your head back and pull your lower eyelid down with one finger. Drop the medicine inside your lower lid. Be sure that the dropper or bottle tip is clean and does not touch the eye, eyelid, lashes, or any other surface.

Ointments and Gels

If you experience dryness in the middle of the night, we may recommend applying an ointment or gel at bedtime. Brands of ointments include Celluvisc, Puralube, Genteal, and Refresh PM. Gels are thicker and last longer than drops. You may have less burning and dryness when you wake up in the morning. Don’t use ointments during the day. They can blur your vision.

To apply ointment:

  • Be sure that the tube or bottle tip is clean. Do not let it touch your eye, eyelid, lashes, or any surface.
  • Pull down on your lower lid with one finger.
  • Squirt a small amount along the inside of the lid.
  • Close your eye for 30 to 60 seconds.

Punctal Occlusion

In severe cases of dry eye syndrome we may recommend a procedure called punctal occlusion. During this procedure we plug the opening in the eyelid where tears drain out of the eye. This opening is called the puncta. We use temporary plugs that can be removed easily.

You may still need to use artificial tears after this procedure.

Lifestyle Management

Dry eye syndrome is a chronic condition. You may have flare-ups when your eyes feel dry. Here are some ways to help your eyes feel more comfortable:

  • Take frequent breaks when reading or looking at a screen. Close your eyes. Don’t rub them. Artificial tears may help.
  • Wear wrap-around sunglasses to protect your eyes from sun, wind, and grit.
  • Use a humidifier to increase the moisture in the air.
  • Avoid smoke and wind. Don’t use hair dryers and aerosol sprays.
  • Use rewetting drops if you wear contact lenses. Wear your glasses until your eyes feel better.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Try flaxseed oil supplements.

Don’t use medicated eye drops that remove redness. They often make irritation worse.

Possible Complications

Long-term complications are rare. However, if you have severe dry eye syndrome you may develop:

  • Eye inflammation
  • Eye infection
  • Scarring on the surface of the cornea

Contact us immediately if you are experiencing severe eye pain.

Your Care with Me

People with mild dry eye syndrome are usually successful at treating their symptoms at home, using artificial tears or lubricating eyedrops. However, some people with severe dry eye syndrome may find that their eyes are still dry, irritated, or tired, and their vision is decreased or fluctuating. If you are having symptoms that concern you, your first contact will typically be with your personal physician, who will evaluate your health and symptoms.

If specialty care is needed, your personal physician will facilitate the process of scheduling an appointment in my department. If appropriate, she or he might call me or one of my colleagues while you are in the office so we can all discuss your care together. If we decide you need an appointment with me after that discussion, we can often schedule it the same day or soon thereafter.

During your office visit, we will discuss your medical and family history and I will perform a physical exam. I will explain the findings of your exam and answer any questions or concerns you may have. We will discuss treatment options, and together we will create a treatment plan that is right for you.

If your dry eye syndrome is severe, I may talk to you about a procedure called punctal occlusion. If we decide that this is a good treatment option, we will schedule your appointment for this procedure while you are in my office. If this is not possible, someone from my office will call you to make the arrangements. These procedures are performed in the office, and the appointment usually takes 30 to 40 minutes.

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If you have an emergency medical condition, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital. An emergency medical condition is any of the following: (1) a medical condition that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity (including severe pain) such that you could reasonably expect the absence of immediate medical attention to result in serious jeopardy to your health or body functions or organs; (2) active labor when there isn't enough time for safe transfer to a Plan hospital (or designated hospital) before delivery, or if transfer poses a threat to your (or your unborn child's) health and safety, or (3) a mental disorder that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity such that either you are an immediate danger to yourself or others, or you are not immediately able to provide for, or use, food, shelter, or clothing, due to the mental disorder.

This information is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of specific medical advice or care you receive from your physician or other health care professional. If you have persistent health problems, or if you have additional questions, please consult with your doctor. If you have questions or need more information about your medication, please speak to your pharmacist. Kaiser Permanente does not endorse the medications or products mentioned. Any trade names listed are for easy identification only.

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