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Dr. Alan B. Schlussel –
The Dry Eye Doctor

New York & New Jersey’s Leading Dry Eye Center

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Dr. Alan B. Schlussel –
The Dry Eye Doctor

New York & New Jersey’s Leading Dry Eye Center


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About The Dry Eye Treatment Center in NY and NJ

If you suffer from dry eye, you know the discomfort and disruption it causes each day. That’s why Alan Schlussel, O.D. created the Dry Eye Treatment Center Of NY and The Dry Eye Treatment Center of NJ. Dr. Schlussel has been treating patients with dry eye with some of the most innovative new technologies.

Dry eyes, or dry eye syndrome, is one of the most common eye and vision problems today and can become more severe if left untreated.

For treatment visit Dr. Schlussel and his Center for Dry Eyes in NYC (Manhattan) and Center for Dry Eyes in West Orange.

If you suffer from dry eye, you know the discomfort and disruption it causes each day. That’s why Alan Schlussel, O.D. created the Dry Eye Treatment Center Of NY and The Dry Eye Treatment Center of NJ. Dr. Schlussel has been treating patients with dry eye with some of the most innovative new technologies.

Dry eyes, or dry eye syndrome, is one of the most common eye and vision problems today and can become more severe if left untreated.

For treatment visit Dr. Schlussel and his Center for Dry Eyes in NYC (Manhattan) and Center for Dry Eyes in West Orange.

Get Checked By Our NYC Dry Eye Doctor Today!

To avoid dry eye problems, visit Dr. Alan B. Schlussel O.D., F.A.A.O. of New York or the Dry Eye Center in New Jersey by booking an appointment online - click here to book your dry eye exam and tear film evaluation appointment now.

Help spread the word about dry eyes and Dr. Alan Schlussel! Write a review of our New York office or West Orange office on Google. Dr. Schlussel's dry eyes offices are conveniently located.  Visit The Dr Eye Doctor at our dry eye center in New York or our dry eye center in West Orange, New Jersey.

Dry Eye Treatment Center of NY

200 E 33rd St
New York, NY 10016
  • 10:30 AM - 2:00 PM
  • 8:00 AM - 5:30 PM
  • 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Closed
  • 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Closed
  • Closed

Dry Eye Treatment Center of NJ

155 Prospect Ave Suite 201B
West Orange, NJ 07052
  • 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
  • Closed
  • 9:00 AM - 6:30 PM
  • Closed
  • 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
  • Closed

Insurance 

  • VSP
  • Davis Vision
  • Eye Med
  • Aetna
  • Cigna
  • Oxford
  • Guardian
  • Empire Bcbs
  • Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield NJ
  • Uhc Community Plan
  • Highmark Health
  • Humana
  • VSP
  • Davis Vision
  • Eye Med
  • Aetna
  • Cigna
  • Oxford
  • Guardian
  • Empire Bcbs
  • Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield NJ
  • Uhc Community Plan
  • Highmark Health
  • Humana

How Do I Know If I have Dry Eyes

Dry eye can cause quite a few symptoms, anything from the eyes actually feeling dry to the eyes watering often, or having a burning, itchy, or irritated feeling. One of the most common symptoms is the eyes feeling gritty or like something is in your eye. Most people will often experience blurred vision since the tears, which comprise the outermost surface of the eye, are unstable.

However these symptoms may also be related to other conditions or medications. Common examples of conditions that are often confused with dry eyes are allergies, infrequent blinking, eye surgery, medications, STD's/STI's, contact lens complications, and something stuck in your eye.

That is one of the reasons that Dr. Schlussel has invested heavily not only in treatment options for dry eyes, but also in diagnostic tools. More specifically our dry eye center uses InflammaDry and the Oculus Keratograph® 5M to ensure accurate diagnosis of the symptoms that you are experiencing.

Is There Anything I Can Do To Prevent Dry Eyes?

Dry eye is multi-factorial, and each person’s dry eye is unique to them. To help prevent dry eye, make sure to consume 8 to 10 glasses of water per day to avoid dehydration. Some nutritional supplements, such as fish oil and flax seed oil, can contribute to a more stable tear layer.

Remember to blink regularly and fully and take breaks often when on a computer, cell phone or when watching television. During times of the year when there is less humidity, a humidifier might be helpful to provide more moisture in the air.

While there are many things that can be done to reduce the severity and frequency of your dry eye symptoms, it is important to treat the underlying cause of dry eyes.

Our New York City Dry Eye Center located in Midtown Manhattan provides care for patients from:

Manhattan | Brooklyn| Queens | Bronx | and the state of New York

Our New Jersey Dry Eye Center located in West Orange provides care for patients from:

Elizabeth| Newark | Jersey City | Staten Island | and the state of New Jersey

Experiencing Any Of These Dry Eye Symptoms?

Stinging/Burning | Redness/Irritation | Tearing/Watery Eyes |

Feeling of “Something in Your Eye”| Difficulty Wearing Contact Lenses |

Light sensitivity | Blurred Vision/Eye Fatigue | Fluctuating Vision |

Glare Problems while Driving and at Night

Take Our Dry Eye Quiz!

Offering Lipiflow Treatment, The Latest Technology In The Fight Against Dry Eye
Lipiflow for MGD

Emily's Lipifow Experience

Linda's Testimonial

85% of Dry Eye Syndrome is due to Meibomian Gland Disorder (MGD), where the glands essential for producing the lubricating oils for our eyes are blocked, clogged, dirty, infected, or atrophying.

Effectively treating MGD requires directly addressing the dysfunction in the meibomian glands. There are currently a number of treatments that attempt to stimulate the meibomian glands to produce more moisturizing and protective lipids. What LipiFlow does is directly massage and warm the meibomian glands in a safe, comfortable, and targeted way. LipiFlow is currently the only treatment which heats the meibomian glands directly from the undersurface of the upper and lower lids. LipiFlow uses vectored pulsation to simultaneously pump and express the blocked oil glands.

LipiFlow is the only electronic device to be FDA-approved for treating MGD. The procedure is backed up by significant research and clinical trials demonstrating that it is both safe and effective at treating chronic dry eyes and Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD).

Until the LipiFlow, treatment of chronic MGD was mostly restricted to some combination of lubricating eye drops, hot compresses, and, in severe cases, the manual expression of the glands by an eye doctor. In such cases, these treatments are only rarely effective. What’s more, manual expression can be very painful and may only be partially effective.

Instead of a combination of painful or partially effective treatments, LipiFlow both massages out blockages while simultaneously applying heat. The process uses”Vectored Thermal Pulsation Technology” ― A patented algorithm of precise heat is applied to the inner eyelids with directed gentle massage to remove blockages from the meibomian glands. This treatment is designed to restore the natural oil flow to the tear film that covers the eye’s surface

Dry Eye Treatment Center of NY

200 E 33rd St
New York, NY 10016

We're located on the corner of Third Avenue and East 33rd. Click on the Google Directions below and enter your starting address. Directions will be shown to our Manhattan, New York Dry Eye Treatment Center.

Book An Appointment

Dry Eye Treatment Center of NJ

155 Prospect Ave Suite 201B
West Orange, NJ 07052

Click on the Google Directions below and enter your starting address. Directions will be shown to our West Orange, New Jersey Dry Eye Treatment Center.

Book An Appointment
Contributing Factors To Dry Eyes

Our Dry Eye Specialist in New York City provides cutting-edge treatment for dry eyes that's fully tailored to your specific situation. We diagnose and assess your eyes using the latest technology combined with good old-fashioned visual exams, questions, and all around great patient care that will get to the core cause of your condition. For example:

  • How effectively are you blinking? How often?
  • Are your tear ducts lined up properly?
  • What’s the osmolarity of your tears?
  • How fast do your tears break down?
  • What is your tear volume?
  • Do your tear ducts line up properly?
  • What shape are your meibomian glands in? Are they blocked? Dirty? Infected?

Our dry eye doctor will also conduct an in-depth assessment of indicators for other diseases and health problems which might be contributing factors to your dry eyes. We then develop a personalized treatment plan based on what we find, and ongoing based on what's working for you.

On every patient questionnaire, we ask if you are suffering from any of the typical symptoms of dry eyes. Do your eyes feel gritty? Sore? Do you feel like something is in your eye or that you just don't seem to have any tears? If you report symptoms of dry eye, or appear to exhibit those symptoms, then we recommend beginning the dry eye exam process, which is quick, easy, and painless.

The first thing we want to check is the stability of the tear-film. We use TearLab to test the osmolarity of your tears― that is, the relative concentrations of salts, water, and lipids (fatty oils). These lipids are produced by the meibomian glands. Most cases of dry eyes occur where there is a problem with these glands. They could be blocked, atrophied, or otherwise damaged. If your tears evaporate too quickly (which causes burning), it's usually caused by a lack of these lipids.

A strong imbalance between the osmolarity of one eye vs. the other is a strong indication that someone has dry eye disease.

Depending on the results of the TearLab, our New York City Dry Eye specialist will also want to see if the overall volume of tears could be the problem. In some cases, the meibomian glands are producing the lipids needed for lubrication, but there just isn't enough of the aqueous layer (this means tears) to spread it around effectively.

In order to test this, our optometrist will place a thin piece of red thread draped over the eyes for a few seconds in order to measure how wet the eye gets and comparing the differential between the eyes.

Another tool in the arsenal of our dry eyes experts is InflammaDry, a specialized diagnostic tool which measures whether or not a patient has elevated levels of MMP-9 in their tears from the inner lining of the lower eyelid. MMP-9 is a protein which indicates inflammation, which is fairly common for anyone suffering from dry eyes.

Our eye doctor will typically prescribe steroids in order to get the eye inflammation under control.

Sometimes, a visual inspection of the eyes isn't enough. Since a problem with the meibomian glands (which produce those essential lubricating lipids) is most often to blame for chronic dry eyes, it's important to get the best digital image of the meibomian glands possible. That's why our dry eye specialists use LipiScan, which takes a high-resolution digital image of the lower AND upper glands.

Such imaging tells us a lot about how healthy your oil glands are. Are they healthy? Blocked? Dilating? Atrophied? Gunky? Is the oil cloudy or clear? ― cloudy oil indicates the presence of a bacterial infection which thickens the oils until they simply are no longer effective. This we can usually clear up with antibiotics.

Our dry eye doctor will also test your tear breakup time. Sometimes, tears don't last long enough to work effectively. In order to test this, we use a fluorescein orange dye to test the breakup time (as well as any other corneal diseases, conditions, or foreign bodies). Using a small blotting paper, the optometrist will lightly touch your eye. As you blink, the dye spreads and gently coats the tear film covering the cornea. Using a blue light (the dye is orange), problems will be revealed to the eye doctor as green.

Depending on the underlying cause or causes of your dry eyes, as well as the severity, our New York City Dry Eye Specialist will develop a custom treatment plan that is tailored to your specific needs. The following are some of the treatment options in our arsenal for treating dry eyes.

For those with tear-film insufficiency, artificial tears are a basic solution that literally introduce more tears into your eyes in the form of non-medicated (or lightly medicated) drops. While not enough for a severe case, these can help maintain overall hydration of the eyes.

For cases of severe or chronic tear-film insufficiency, our New York City Dry Eye doctors will sometimes use punctal plugs. These are small devices that are inserted into the tear ducts to slow or even block the drainage of tears. This increases the tear-film and moisture present in the eyes.

In most cases, the procedure is quick, painless, and uneventful. Find out if punctal plugs are right for you.

For mild to moderate dry eyes resulting from Meibomian Gland Disorder or Blepharitis, a hot compress or eye mask is helpful in alleviating the symptoms. The warmth of the mask stimulates the oil glands to open up, allowing for natural lubrication of your eye.

This is a revolutionary treatment that has been developed in the past few years for treating severe and chronic cases of dry eye. Amniotic membranes are collected during elective cesarean births from the placenta. Amniotic membranes protect and nurture the baby in the womb. When placed over the eye, this membrane dramatically heals the eye surface, which has been damaged by prolonged dry eyes. Absolutely no sale of body parts is involved, and absolutely NO harm comes to the infant or the mother in extraction.

The results of using an amniotic membrane to treat dry eye are dramatic. At our dry eye clinic, we make use of both wet and dry membranes, which differ slightly in use. Both types offer significant, dramatic, and real healing and relief for inflamed and scarred eyes due to dry eyes. The use of amniotic membranes is a gamechanger in the treatment of dry eyes.

Wet Amniotic Membrane

The "Wet" amniotic membrane is a thin membrane held together by a small plastic ring. Applied directly to the eye, the ring holds it in place right where the eyelid meets the sclera (the white part) of the eye. The healing from this method is very fast. Usually, the membrane needs to be worn for no more than a week before dramatic improvement occurs.

Dry Amniotic Membrane

Looking more like a thin dry bit of tiny corrugated cardboard, the dry membrane is placed right on the cornea and held in place with something called a "bandage contact lens" on top.

In cases of chronic dry often, we often see patients who have a decreased ability to produce tears. This occurs because of the constant inflammation they experience. Unlike artificial tears, Restasis and Xiidra are medicated prescription eye drops which are both proven to increase the eye’s ability to make its own tears. Instead of having to constantly replenish your eyes’ moisture, with Restasis or Xiidra you are actually stimulating your eyes to make more tears over time.

When do I need prescription eye drops and when is a dietary supplement enough?

Typically, Restasis or Xiidra is used for chronic cases, while a recommended omega-3 supplement usually can and should be used in most cases even as a preventative measure and to maintain optimal eye health.

Our eye doctors are experts in treating dry eye syndrome and will diagnose and guide you through the right treatment plan for you. You don’t have to continue to suffer. Book an appointment with our New York City dry eye specialist today.

Restasis has been in use for a number of years. It is an eye drop that is used twice a day. It’s the teardrop form of cyclosporine, an autoimmune suppressant which is prescribed for many chronic conditions, and it has been found to alleviate the symptoms of dry eyes by reducing the inflammation and increasing tear production. However, Restasis doesn’t necessarily help to improve the outflow of the oil that needs to be produced on top of the tears so that the tears don’t evaporate. Right now some of the studies are suggesting that over 50% of people with dry eyes actually have meibomian gland dysfunction. So, if the first lines of treatment are failing to manage dry eye symptoms, consider more rigorous treatments for dry eyes and blepharitis. Restasis also has side effects, with some patients experiencing burning and discomfort.

Xiidra is a newer drug that has recently received FDA approval for the treatment of Dry Eyes. Clinical studies have shown it to be significantly effective in alleviating symptoms, and it works far faster than Restasis, providing significant relief within as little as 2 weeks without the side effects of Restasis. However, the long-term benefits for dry eyes have yet to be conclusively proven. Nonetheless, it is considered a very safe drug.

A new entry on the market, Allergan's product rethinks the traditional approach to temporary dry eye relief. Using a small nasal spray like device, True Tears stimulates a nerve in the nasal cavity which tells the brain to produce more tears. While not a treatment of the underlying condition, True Tear is an effective and natural tool for temporary dry eye relief. 

 

BlephEx is a painless in-practice procedure performed by our Dry Eye Specialist to treat blepharitis, the infection, and inflammation of the eyelids which is a common cause of severe dry eyes. In our New York City Dry Eye clinic, we make use of the revolutionary new patented BlephEx handpiece, which is used to very precisely spin a medical grade micro-sponge along the edge of your eyelids and lashes, removing scurf and debris and exfoliating your eyelids.

The patented micro-sponge is disposable and a clean one is used for each individual eyelid so bacteria are not spread between the lids. The eyes are rinsed well afterward.

The procedure lasts about 6 -8 minutes and is well tolerated. Most patients simply report a tickling sensation. A numbing drop is usually placed in each eye prior to treatment for increased comfort.

After the procedure, the patient is instructed on how to maintain their clean eyelids with regular nightly lid hygiene. Since home treatments are only semi-effective, the procedure is typically repeated at 4-6 month intervals.

Contributing Factors To Dry Eyes
women hugging dry eye
dry and sun set
woman with green eyes

As we age, we experience hormonal changes. These changes are known to cause or contribute to dry eyes. While this is true of both men and women, it seems that women over 50 are particularly more prone to developing dry eye symptoms. Pregnancy is also known to contribute to or exacerbate dry eye syndrome.

By increasing the rate at which our tears evaporate, the following environmental factors are known to play a huge role in causing or contributing to dry eyes:

  • Smoke
  • Allergens
  • Pollution
  • Cold-climate and central heating
  • Dry climate
  • Sandy or dusty conditions
  • Altitude

Poor cleaning habits, not changing the contact often enough, and sleeping in contact lenses can all contribute to dry eyes. However, even for those who take proper care with their contacts, they can still be a contributing cause of dry eyes. In fact, one of the main reasons people discontinue contact lens usage is due to dry eyes. The good news is there have been major improvements across all the brands with special contacts that are aimed at preventing dry eye symptoms.

senior medical conditions and dry eye
man at computer
senior lady with dry eye and watery eye

Various diseases contribute to, or even cause, dry eyes. Autoimmune diseases are a known factor. Rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren’s syndrome – a common symptom that rheumatologists treat can also contribute to dry eyes. Diabetics or those with Glaucoma that requires medication are also more likely to have dry eye syndrome.

As with everything, proper balanced diet and exercise are important in preventing or managing dry eye syndrome. There are two specific activities that relate directly to Dry Eyes.

Does Staring At A Screen Cause Dry Eye?

Continuous staring at a fixed object, such as a phone or computer screen, usually results in a decreased blink rate. The lack of blinking actually causes the eyes not to replenish the tears often enough. The meibomian glands, therefore, can become blocked or even atrophy and die.

Prolonged And Continuous Use Of Digital Devices Is Thought To Be The Likely Culprit In The Significant Increase Of Dry Eye Syndrome Throughout The General Population.

Does Drinking More Water Help With Dry Eye?

The main component of tears is water. Most of us don’t drink enough water. If you are dehydrated or not drinking enough, then you may not produce enough tears to keep your eyes moist. Snapple, Coke and other caffeinated drinks like coffee and tea may feel like they quench your thirst, but they actually dehydrate the body. Your body needs water to prevent dry eyes symptoms.

Whether prescription or over-the-counter, certain medications are known to decrease tear production or otherwise contribute to Dry Eye Syndrome. These include:

  • Beta-blockers / blood pressure medications
  • Antihistamines
  • Decongestants
  • AntiDepressants
  • Oral Contraceptives
Meet Our Dry Eye Doctor

Dr. Alan B. Schlussel O.D., F.A.A.O.

schlussel

Doctor Schlussel received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biology from Binghamton University in 1980. He attended the State College of Optometry in New York from 1980 through 1984. He received his Doctor of Optometry degree in June 1984. He has been in private practice for over 20 years.

Doctor Schlussel is currently the managing owner of both private offices in West Orange, NJ and midtown Manhattan, NYC. In December of 1989, Dr. Schlussel became a fellow in the American Academy of Optometry and is currently a prestigious member of this organization.

Doctor Schlussel is a member of the American Optometric Association along with the New York and New Jersey State Optometric Associations. He has been extensively trained in the diagnosis and treatment of eye disease and in the co-management of Lasik.

Get Checked By Our NYC Dry Eye Doctor Today!

To avoid dry eye problems, visit Dr. Alan B. Schlussel O.D., F.A.A.O. of New York or the Dry Eye Center in New Jersey by booking an appointment online - click here to book your dry eye exam and tear film evaluation appointment now.

Help spread the word about dry eyes and Dr. Alan Schlussel! Write a review of our New York office or West Orange office on Google. Dr. Schlussel's dry eyes offices are conveniently located.  Visit The Dr Eye Doctor at our dry eye center in New York or our dry eye center in West Orange, New Jersey.

Dry Eye Treatment Center of NY

200 E 33rd St
New York, NY 10016
  • 10:30 AM - 2:00 PM
  • 8:00 AM - 5:30 PM
  • 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Closed
  • 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Closed
  • Closed

Dry Eye Treatment Center of NJ

155 Prospect Ave Suite 201B
West Orange, NJ 07052
  • 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
  • Closed
  • 9:00 AM - 6:30 PM
  • Closed
  • 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
  • Closed

Insurance 

  • VSP
  • Davis Vision
  • Eye Med
  • Aetna
  • Cigna
  • Oxford
  • Guardian
  • Empire Bcbs
  • Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield NJ
  • Uhc Community Plan
  • Highmark Health
  • Humana
  • VSP
  • Davis Vision
  • Eye Med
  • Aetna
  • Cigna
  • Oxford
  • Guardian
  • Empire Bcbs
  • Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield NJ
  • Uhc Community Plan
  • Highmark Health
  • Humana

How Do I Know If I have Dry Eyes

Dry eye can cause quite a few symptoms, anything from the eyes actually feeling dry to the eyes watering often, or having a burning, itchy, or irritated feeling. One of the most common symptoms is the eyes feeling gritty or like something is in your eye. Most people will often experience blurred vision since the tears, which comprise the outermost surface of the eye, are unstable.

However these symptoms may also be related to other conditions or medications. Common examples of conditions that are often confused with dry eyes are allergies, infrequent blinking, eye surgery, medications, STD's/STI's, contact lens complications, and something stuck in your eye.

That is one of the reasons that Dr. Schlussel has invested heavily not only in treatment options for dry eyes, but also in diagnostic tools. More specifically our dry eye center uses InflammaDry and the Oculus Keratograph® 5M to ensure accurate diagnosis of the symptoms that you are experiencing.

Is There Anything I Can Do To Prevent Dry Eyes?

Dry eye is multi-factorial, and each person’s dry eye is unique to them. To help prevent dry eye, make sure to consume 8 to 10 glasses of water per day to avoid dehydration. Some nutritional supplements, such as fish oil and flax seed oil, can contribute to a more stable tear layer.

Remember to blink regularly and fully and take breaks often when on a computer, cell phone or when watching television. During times of the year when there is less humidity, a humidifier might be helpful to provide more moisture in the air.

While there are many things that can be done to reduce the severity and frequency of your dry eye symptoms, it is important to treat the underlying cause of dry eyes.

Our New York City Dry Eye Center located in Midtown Manhattan provides care for patients from:

Manhattan | Brooklyn| Queens | Bronx | and the state of New York

Our New Jersey Dry Eye Center located in West Orange provides care for patients from:

Elizabeth| Newark | Jersey City | Staten Island | and the state of New Jersey