A Clearer View

Latest treatment options and news about cataracts, dry eye syndrome and other eye care topics.

When Should You See a Doctor About Dry Eyes?

by Damion Wasylow 2 January 2019 08:16 AM

senior man rubbing eyes
At some point, many people experience the pain and discomfort of dry eyes. For some, it’s infrequent irritation due to environmental factors. For others, it’s a chronic condition known as dry eye syndrome. So, when is it time to consult an eye doctor about your dry eye symptoms?

The short answer is that you should talk to your eye doctor as soon as possible. After all, why suffer a moment longer than you have to?

Dry eyes result from a lack of sufficient lubrication on the eye surface. Normally, a layer of natural moisture coats the eye. When this moisture layer is too thin or the composition isn’t just right, you can experience symptoms including stinging, burning, redness, scratchiness, matter in the eyes, excessive tearing and more. You may even notice eye fatigue, sensitivity to light and/or a decrease in visual quality.

Dry eye prevalence increases with age. In fact, the American Academy of Ophthalmology estimates nearly five million Americans over age 50 suffer from dry eye syndrome. But age isn’t the only contributing factor. Medical conditions ranging from diabetes to rheumatoid arthritis and lupus to thyroid disorders increase the likelihood of dry eye syndrome. Medications including antihistamines, blood pressure medications, decongestants and antidepressants can also contribute to your chances of developing dry eyes, as they often reduce natural tear production.

If you experience chronic dry eye symptoms, you may also have a meibomian gland disorder. Meibomian glands are located within the eyelids. Each gland has a small opening along the edge of the eyelid through which they excrete an oily substance that helps maintain eye moisture. When these glands stop working effectively, evaporative dry eye disease can result.

Your eye doctor can diagnose the root cause of your dry eye symptoms and work with you to develop an effective treatment plan.

For occasional dry eye discomfort resulting from environmental factors such as living in or visiting dry environments or exposure to smoke and wind, over-the-counter drops may alleviate symptoms. For more persistent issues, after diagnosing the root cause of your dry eye symptoms, your eye doctor may offer a variety of in-office solutions.

If you’re ready to experience long-term relief from dry eye symptoms, contact North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care today. Through our Dry Eye Center for Excellence, we offer multiple treatment options to address your specific dry eye symptoms and causes. Call us today at 352-373-4300 to schedule an appointment.



Comments (0)

Blog Links