New Announcement - February 2, 2024

Please help us congratulate our Medical Director, Emilio M. Justo, MD, who presented his second TEDx talk in London, Ontario, Canada on February 2, 2024 at the TEDxWesternU event! The title of his talk is:

Unleashing the Drive Within: The OBSESSION Advantage to Unprecedented Success

Click Here to View Photos of TEDxWesternU Event

Once this TEDx YouTube video goes live, we will post it here!

In the meantime, please join the more than 5 Million Viewers who have watched Dr. Justo's first TEDx talk from August 12, 2023 at TEDxCherryCreekHS titled "Delayed Gratification: Your Superpower to Success" Please see the link below to view the full video, as well as photos of the event:

Delayed Gratification: Your Superpower to Success

Dry Eye Center of Excellence

Technology for Better Diagnosis, Treatment

We are proud to be home of the Dry Eye Center of Excellence, featuring state-of-the-art technology and expertise that will ensure you receive the proper diagnosis and treatment. The center is overseen by our Assistant Directors of Optometry, Dr. Dan Valdes and Dr. Mark Yates, who take pride in helping patients resolve this damaging and uncomfortable disease.

Purchase Dry Eye products from the comfort of home on our Web store, located at

A close-up image of a woman with green eyes

Dry eye is a common condition defined by the lack of enough quality tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. Tears are vital to maintain the health of your eye. Tears are also key to having clear vision.

While symptoms may range among sufferers, the condition can cause redness, irritation, light sensitivity, runny eyes, and many other symptoms. At the Arizona Eye Institute & Cosmetic Laser Center, we use the latest technology to diagnose your dry eye. Dr. Yates and Dr. Valdes can test for specific quantitative numbers that allow him to narrow down exactly the prescribed treatment you need to resolve your dry eye.

A Closer Look at the Causes of Dry Eye

Illustration of the eye's glandsDry eye can be the result of not producing enough tears, or producing tears that are of a poor quality.

Inadequate tear production: Age, medication and medical conditions can cause tear production to diminish. The glands in and around your eyelids can also be impacted by wind and dry climates that cause tears to literally evaporate and diminish their lubrication of the eye. A decrease in tear production can bring on dry eye symptoms.

Poor tear quality: Our tear film consists of three layers: an oil (lipid) layer, a water (aqueous) layer and a mucin layer. All three layers have to work together in fine balance to help maintain the health of our eyes and protect us from potential infection. When this balance is altered, the tears could evaporate too quickly and cause many of  Dry Eye symptoms.

The most common cause of dry eye is an inadequate water layer, a condition called keratoconjunctivitis sicca, also known as Dry Eye Syndrome.

Dry Eye Diagnosis

While the symptoms of dry eye are one of the most common reasons patients seek out their eye doctor, the disease remains one of the most under-diagnosed.

At the Arizona Eye Institute & Cosmetic Laser Center, our Dry Eye Center of Excellence understands how important the diagnosis and treatment of dry eye is to your vision and your quality of life. We have invested in the latest technology to diagnose your dry eye.

Dr. Valdes and Dr. Yates with staff use this technology to test for specific quantitative numbers to ensure he prescribes the correct treatment. While our doctors may be able to diagnose dry eye through a routine eye exam, many insurance companies will authorize use of our state-of-the-art technology that can confirm and clarify your diagnosis. We obtain the most precise diagnosis using our TearLab® osmolarity test. With this tool, we will collect a small tear sample, and test it for quality and salt content. This unique system can help us determine the best treatment for your individual needs.

Abnormal osmolarity chart

Treatment for the Condition

At the Arizona Eye Institute, we offer a wide range of treatments for dry eye syndrome. We always begin with the most conservative option, and we will closely monitor your progress for optimal results.

Many of these treatments you can purchase from the comfort of home from our Web store located at

Treatments include:

  • Eye drops: Prescription and over-the-counter eye drops are often the most effective treatments for dry eye syndrome. Some drops will simply increase moisture in the eye, while others can actually stimulate tear production. It is always best to check with your doctor before using drops, to ensure the right treatment.
  • Nutritional supplements: In some cases, an increased intake of omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the symptoms of dry eye. Although flaxseed, fish oil, and BioTears® supplements are readily available, you should never attempt to treat dry eye without the supervision of your ophthalmologist.
  • Lifestyle changes: Air conditioning, air fresheners, and even some skin care products can cause dry eye. Together with your doctor, you should pay close attention to your environment and anything that could be exacerbating or triggering your symptoms.
  • Punctal plugs: If these more conservative treatments do not work, we may recommend punctal plugs. These small silicone devices are placed inside your tear ducts, and they prevent tears from evaporating too quickly.

Find Relief from Your Symptoms

Dry eye can take a huge toll on your comfort and quality of life. Fortunately, with our wide range of treatment options and our state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment, relief may be just around the corner. Contact us today to schedule your first consultation with our Dry Eye Center of Excellence.  

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Arizona Eye Institute & Cosmetic Laser Center

Ophthalmologist and plastic surgeon Emilio Justo founded Arizona Eye Institute & Cosmetic Laser Center in 1989. With locations in Sun City West, Sun City, and Wickenburg, AZ, we help patients from the Phoenix area and beyond improve and maintain their vision through quality eye care. Our doctors are affiliated with prestigious organizations, including:

  • The American Board of Ophthalmology
  • The American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery
  • The American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • The Arizona Medical Association
  • The Arizona Ophthalmological Society
  • The Phoenix Ophthalmological Society

To request a consultation, please fill out our online form or call (623) 975-2020.

Contact Us Today

Over the years, many people have asked me my secret… The answer is simple – I listen carefully and attentively.
Dr. Emilio Justo

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