Understanding Dry Eye: Treatment Options

If you’re reading this article, chances are you’ve experienced some dry eye symptoms. You’re in luck, despite misconceptions, dry eye is a curable condition. 

There are several effective treatment options available to alleviate its symptoms and improve overall eye health. If you’ve noticed changes in your eye lubrication or frequently experience dryness, itchiness, or a gritty sensation, it is crucial to seek an evaluation from your eye doctor.

Causes and Symptoms of Dry Eye

Dry eye occurs when your eyes fail to produce enough tears or when the tears evaporate too quickly.

Several factors contribute to this condition, including:

  • Environmental conditions
  • Medical conditions
  • Certain medications

Environmental factors such as dry air, wind, or exposure to smoke can exacerbate dry eye symptoms. Medical conditions like autoimmune disorders, diabetes, and hormonal changes can also impact tear production. Furthermore, certain medications, such as antihistamines, decongestants, and antidepressants, can cause dryness in the eyes.

Symptoms

Dry eye presents with various symptoms, including:

  • Persistent dry sensation
  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Blurred vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Discomfort when wearing contact lenses.

These symptoms can range from mild to severe and can significantly affect your quality of life if left untreated.

Diagnosing Dry Eye

If you suspect you have dry eyes, seeking professional evaluation is essential.

Your eye doctor will conduct a thorough examination to diagnose dry eye accurately and determine the underlying causes. During the evaluation, your eye doctor will review your medical history, assess your symptoms, and perform specific tests to measure tear production and evaluate the quality of your tears.

Treatment Options for Dry Eye

Whether your symptoms are mild or severe, understanding these treatment options can help you find relief and improve your overall eye health. From artificial tears and lubricating eye drops to lifestyle modifications and advanced procedures, each approach aims to address the underlying causes of dry eye and provide the necessary moisture and lubrication your eyes need

Artificial Tears and Lubricating Eye Drops

One of the most common treatment options for dry eye is the use of artificial tears or lubricating eye drops.

These products supplement the natural tear film and provide relief from dryness and discomfort. Your eye doctor may recommend different types of eye drops, including those that reduce inflammation or stimulate tear production, based on the severity of your dry eye.

Lifestyle Modifications

In addition to eye drops, certain lifestyle changes can help manage dry eye symptoms effectively.

Increasing humidity levels in your environment, avoiding excessive screen time, taking regular breaks to rest your eyes, and wearing protective eyewear outdoors can significantly alleviate dry eye symptoms and improve overall eye health.

Advanced Procedures

For severe cases of dry eye, advanced procedures may be recommended.

Punctal occlusion is one such option where tiny plugs are inserted into the tear ducts to slow down tear drainage and maintain better eye lubrication. Other advanced treatments may involve techniques like intense pulsed light therapy or prescription medications to address the underlying causes of dry eye and provide long-lasting relief.

Trust the Experts for Dry Eye Treatment at Performance Eyecare

By seeking timely treatment for dry eye, you can enjoy clear vision and comfortable eyes without any pain or discomfort. If you are experiencing dry eye symptoms, schedule an appointment with one of our experienced eye doctors at Performance Eyecare.

With ten convenient locations in Missouri and Illinois, we offer personalized care and tailor dry eye treatment options to your specific needs. Don’t let dry eye hold you back from living life to the fullest. Schedule your next eye exam today to take the first step towards relieving your dry eye symptoms. Our dedicated team is ready to assist you on your journey to optimal eye health.

Winter weather could irritate your eyes

The bright sun reflecting off the white snow isn’t the only eye hazard you should be worried about this winter. Other hazards that could irritate your eyes are the cold winds and dry air.

As noted by Osteopathic.org, harsh weather conditions can make eyes constantly dry and irritated, especially for those who wear contact lenses. Also, dry eyes can be troublesome when you’re indoors as well since the indoor heat eliminates moisture from the air.

Eye drops can be used a few times a day to help combat the dry-eye problem as well as installing humidifiers throughout your house to increase the indoor levels of humidity.

Staying hydrated and eating proper nutrition, in addition to eye drops and wearing sunglasses outside, can help keep your eyes moist. Studies have found that supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids, such as cold-water fish (sardines, cod, herring, and salmon), and flaxseed oil can relieve dry eye.

Drinking more water can help as well. The Institute of Medicine states that each day women need 91 ounces of water and men need about 125 ounces to stay hydrated. Experts agree that about 20 percent of the water your body needs comes from the food you eat. The best choices for beverages are water, 100 percent fruit and vegetable juices and milk.

Dry Eye Syndrome

How Do I Know If I Have Dry Eye Syndrome?

Dry Eye Syndrome is caused by chronic lack of sufficient lubrication and moisture on the surface of your eye. This is more common among women. Although there is no determining factor for this, we believe dry eyes could possibly be due to hormonal fluctuations.

Symptoms You May Have Dry Eye Syndrome

  1. Blurriness
  2. Sensitivity to light
  3. Irritation from windy conditions
  4. Fatigued eyes, especially at the end of the day
  5. Irritation, or problems wearing contact lenses
  6. Gritty or scratchy feelings
  7. Excessive tearing
  8. Red eyes

If you suffer from any of the above, get in touch with your local Performance Eyecare office to take a look and possibly diagnose for treatment.

Possible Causes

  1. Heavy reading, or excessive digital device use
  2. LASIK eye surgery
  3. Prolonged contacts lens wearing
  4. Living or working in dry environments
  5. Diets lacking in fatty acids
  6. Certain prescriptions such as allergy drugs, beta-blockers, etc
  7. Deficiency of tear-producing glands
  8. Certain health conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, lupus & more