- With Mayo Clinic emeritus ophthalmologist
Dennis Robertson, M.D.read biographyclose window
Dennis Robertson, M.D.Dennis Robertson, M.D.
Dennis M. Robertson was born in South St. Paul, Minn., and grew up in a musical family on the Mississippi River. He completed his undergraduate and graduate training at the University of Minnesota, where he received a B.A., B.S. and M.D.
Following an internship at San Bernardino County Hospital in California, he worked for two years on Indian reservations under the umbrella of the United States Public Health Service. He later completed a residency in ophthalmology at Mayo Clinic and pursued postgraduate fellowship training in vitreoretinal disorders at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami. He returned to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., in 1967.
His studies included a sabbatical during 1987 and 1988 at Moorfields and St. Bartholomew’s hospitals in London. His scientific interests have been chiefly in disorders of the retina and vitreous and ocular oncology. In 1999, he became the recipient of the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Professorship.
He retired from full time clinical practice in July 2004. In August 2005, he returned to work part-time at the Mayo Clinic until retiring again in December 2007.
Artificial tears: How to select eyedrops for dry eyes
I have dry eyes. What should I look for when selecting artificial tears?
from Dennis Robertson, M.D.
Artificial tears are eyedrops used to lubricate dry eyes and help maintain moisture on the outer surface of your eyes. Artificial tears may be used to treat dry eyes that result from aging, certain medications, a medical condition, eye surgery or environmental factors, such as smoky or windy conditions.
Artificial tears are available without a prescription. No single brand of artificial tears works best for every form of dry eyes.
Besides lubricating your eyes, some artificial tears contain electrolytes. These additives may promote healing of the surface of the eyes. Artificial tears may also contain thickening agents, which keep the solution on the surface of your eyes longer.
There are two categories of artificial tears:
- Eyedrops with preservatives. These artificial tears often come in multidose bottles and contain chemicals (preservatives) that discourage growth of bacteria once the bottle has been opened. The preservatives may irritate your eyes, especially if you have moderate or severe dry eyes.
- Preservative-free eyedrops. These artificial tears have fewer additives and are generally recommended if you apply artificial tears more than four times a day, or if you have moderate or severe dry eyes. Preservative-free products may come in single-dose vials.
In addition to over-the-counter artificial tears, you may also get relief from gels, gel inserts and ointments. Artificial tear ointments may offer longer lasting relief but may cause blurred vision and, as such, may work best just before bedtime.
If artificial tears don't relieve your dry eyes, make an appointment with an eye doctor (ophthalmologist or optometrist). He or she may be able to offer another treatment.
- Dry eye. American Optometric Association. http://www.aoa.org/x4717.xml. Accessed Nov. 15, 2012.
- Facts about dry eye. National Eye Institute. http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/dryeye/dryeye.asp. Accessed Nov. 15, 2012.
- Yanoff M, ed., et al. Ophthalmology. 3rd ed. Edinburgh, U.K.: Mosby Elsevier; 2009. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/212799885-2/0/1869/0.html. Accessed Nov. 30, 2012.
- Dry eye treatment. American Academy of Ophthalmology. http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/diseases/dry-eye-treatment.cfm. Accessed Nov. 15, 2012.
- Skalicky SI, et al. New agents for treating dry eye syndrome. Current Allergy and Asthma Reports. In press. Accessed Nov. 30, 2012.