Dry eye syndrome is a condition in which there are insufficient tears to lubricate the eye. In a normal eye, tears are produced by the tear gland and are necessary for lubricating and maintaining the health of the front surface of the eye.
Patients with dry eyes have either an insufficient tear production or have poor quality tears that evaporate rapidly resulting in inadequate lubrication of their eyes. Patients may develop painful symptoms and damage to the eye surface may occur.
Symptoms of dry eye syndrome may include stinging or burning of the eye, sandy or gritty feeling as if something is in the eye, episodes of excess tearing followed by dry periods, episodes of blurred vision which clears with blinking, decreased tolerance to reading, working on the computer or watching television and contact lens intolerance.
Environmental factors like smoking, air pollution, wind, dry air conditions from air conditioning vents may worsen the symptoms of dry eyes.
Dry eyes is more common in patients over forty, especially in women after menopause. Dry eyes may be a side effect of certain medications including medications used to treat allergies, high blood pressure and depression.
Hormone replacement medications and birth control pills may also cause dry eyes. Certain systemic inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, lupus and sarcoidosis are commonly associated with dry eye syndrome.
During your eye evaluation your eye care provider can look for signs of dry eyes on the surface of your eye and may perform dry eye tests to measure tear quality and quantity.
Treatment options for dry eyes include over the counter artificial tears drops or ointment to help lubricate your eyes, prescription eye drops that may help improve tear quality or quantity, punctual plugs to help conserve your natural tears, avoiding dry environments and using a humidifier.
During your eye evaluation your eye car provider can determine what treatment options may work best for you.”
The surfaces of the cornea and other ocular structures rely on a supply of balanced human tears to keep them lubricated, nourished and protected against infections. The problems that could arise from inadequate tear balance leads to Dry Eye Syndrome.
Dry eyes are more than just a need for moisture on the eye. When eyes are too dry, the eye optical surfaces could become irregular making it difficult to see properly and do certain activities. Certain dry environments may be unfit for you– including your house – as dryness irritates your eyes further.
Many dry eye patients report difficulty viewing media screens. This is in part because of the glare that develops with dry eye and in part that prolonged viewing light from the screens could make you blink less, dry the eye further, causing aching and annoyances.
Serious or long-term cases of dry eyes can lead to inflammation, abrasions, scars and ulcers which are more serious problems of Dry Eye Syndrome. Depending on what occurs, Dry Eye Syndrome problems could permanently alter your vision. See an eye doctor if problems persists.
Besides general irritation and difficulty viewing media screens, the following are signs associated with dry eyes.
Luckily, help is available. Westchester Eye Surgeons has helped patients with dry eye syndrome for more than 20 years. We are conveniently located in Westchester, IL to better serve residents of Chicago and all western suburbs.
Contact Westchester Eye Surgeons now to set up a consultation.