Symptoms of Dry Eye
Dry Eye Syndrome (DES or dry eye) is a chronic lack of lubrication on the surface of the eye. Its consequences range from minor irritation to an increased risk of corneal inflammation and eye infections.
Common symptoms of dry eye syndrome include, but are not limited too: persistent dryness, scratchiness and a burning sensation on your eyes.
Some people with dry eyes also experience a “foreign body sensation” – the feeling that something is in the eye. It may seem odd, but sometimes dry eye syndrome can cause watery eyes as well. In which case, the excessive dryness works to overstimulate production of the watery component of your eye’s tears.
What Causes Dry Eyes?
When a patient’s tear glands don’t produce enough tears or the tears have a chemical composition that causes them to evaporate too quickly, they are diagnosed with dry eye syndrome.
Dry Eye Syndrome Occurs:
- As a side effect of medications, such as antihistamines, antidepressants, certain blood pressure medicines, birth control pills, etc.
- As a part of the natural aging process, especially among women over age 40
- Because you live in a dry, dusty or windy climate with low humidity
- If your home or office has air conditioning or a dry heating system
- As a side effect of insufficient blinking, such as when you’re staring at a computer screen all day
Dry eyes are also associated with certain systemic diseases such as Rosacea, Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis &/or Sjogren’s Syndrome.
Long-term contact lens wear, incomplete closure of the eyelids, eyelid disease and a deficiency of the tear-producing glands are other causes.
Dry eye syndrome is more common in women, possibly due to hormone fluctuations. Research suggests that smoking can also increase your risk of dry eye syndrome. Dry eye has also been associated with incomplete lid closure following blepharoplasty – a popular cosmetic surgery to eliminate droopy eyelids.
Treatment Options for Dry Eye
Dry Eye Syndrome is an ongoing condition that may be unable to cure, but the symptoms of dry eye can usually be successfully managed with the help of your eye doctor at MVC Eye Care. After your doctor diagnosis you with DES, we may prescribe artificial tears for you. Prescription eye drops lubricate the eye and may alleviate the dry, scratchy feeling and foreign body sensation. They also help increase your tear production. In some cases, your doctor may also prescribe a steroid for more immediate short-term relief.
If eye drops are not helping or if they become an annoyance, MVC Eye Care offers the most advanced dry eye treatment options available!
Inserts / Plugs – Another option for dry eye treatment involves a tiny insert filled with a lubricating ingredient. The insert is placed just inside the lower eyelid, where it continuously releases lubrication throughout the day. For more significant cases of dry eye, your eye doctor may recommend punctal plugs. These tiny devices are inserted in ducts in your lids to slow the drainage of tears away from your eyes, thereby keeping your eyes more moist.
Heat – If your dry eye is caused by Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) or Blepharitis, your doctor may recommend warm compresses and suggest an in-office procedure to clear the blocked glands and restore normal function. Many of our doctors specialize in TearCare® treatment. The TearCare® System utilizes both wearable and smart technology to deliver targeted thermal energy (heat) to the eyelids while allowing the eyelids to blink naturally. We also cary a variety of Bruder Masks each of our offices for you to choose from.
Supplements – Our doctors also recommend special nutritional supplements containing certain essential fatty acids to decrease dry eye symptoms. All of our doctors highly recommend Nordic Naturals Fish Oil to all our patients. Click here to get some today!
Protect – To reduce the effects of sun, wind and dust on dry eyes, wear sunglasses when outdoors. Wraparound styles offer the best protection. Our Opticians will help you find the perfect eyewear solution to keep your eyes protected outdoors.
These are just a few ways we treat dry eye. If you think you have Dry Eye Syndrome, Click Here to set up an appointment & start your customized treatment plan today.