As the summer heat and humidity fade away, you may notice that that the drier air is irritating your eyes. If dry eye is causing you to experience pain, discomfort, and blurry vision, you aren’t alone. Approximately 30 million Americans suffer from dry eye, but though this condition is common, it can severely impact your quality of life. We’ve collected four ways you can tackle your dry eye and enjoy healthier, happier eyes all season long!
Though common, dry eye symptoms and causes vary considerably from person to person. While many patients will experience dryness, discomfort, burning, blurry vision, and a sensation of something in the eye, others may experience excessive tearing, watering, and sensitivity to light. Track your symptoms and accurately report them to your ophthalmologist. They may point to an underlying cause of your condition.
Next, be aware of factors that could exacerbate your dry eye. Frequent contact lens use, cataract surgery, medications, acne rosacea, autoimmune diseases, environmental factors, and your age and sex may predispose you to dry eye. By managing controllable factors, you can help ease symptoms.
Next, visit your eye expert for a comprehensive examination. With diagnostic tests, such as Schirmer’s test, the Osmolarity test, and a Meibography, your ophthalmologist will be able to determine whether your tear glands and oil glands are functioning properly. By using advanced imaging tools, like LipiView®, your eye expert can better understand your unique condition and how to most effectively treat your eyes.
Establishing a personalized dry eye treatment plan is crucial. Your eye expert may prescribe topical lubricants and anti-inflammatory medications or recommend nutraceuticals. Remember: Always consult with your ophthalmologist before beginning a new supplement or using an over-the-counter eye drop. Some can cause dry eye to worsen.
Your ophthalmologist may discover that you suffer from an underlying medical condition that causes, exacerbates, or contributes to your dry eye. In these cases, treatment of an underlying condition can ease your dry eye. Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD), which is the clogging, blockage, and dying off of oil glands in the eyelid, is a leading cause of dry eye. If you suffer from MGD, we offer a comfortable, non-invasive treatment called LipiFlow® that can help restore balance in your tear composition and improve your symptoms.
At home, patients have the power to ease their dry eye by practicing good eyelid hygiene as well as taking and applying medications or medicated ointments as prescribed.
Dry eye is chronic and, in many cases, progressive. While treatments can ease symptoms, they cannot cure this condition. Regular maintenance, appointments with your ophthalmologist, and healthy lifestyle choices are necessary to promote comfortable, healthy eyes. If you notice your dry eye worsening, always contact your eye expert who may recommend adjustments to your treatment plan to restore comfort, vision, and health.
If you are ready to experience dry eye relief this season, contact us today at 614-939-1600 to book an appointment with our experts.