Are you someone who suffers from dry, irritated eyes? You're not alone!
Dry eye is a common condition that affects millions of people every day. There are different things you can do to try and alleviate the symptoms of dry eye. If dry eye persists, it's always a good idea to get to the root of the problem by scheduling a comprehensive eye exam.
Call us at Vision Source Specialists in Rapid City to schedule an appointment today.
What Causes Dry Eye Syndrome?
Dry eye happens when your eyes cannot keep enough moisture to stay healthy. This can cause problems like discomfort, unstable tears, inflammation, and damage to the surface of your eyes. It can also affect how your eyes sense things.
While dry eye symptoms may worsen in winter due to low humidity and heaters or wood burning, it is a year-round problem for many people.
Symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome
Symptoms of dry eye may include:
- Light Sensitivity
- Blurry vision
What Are At-Home Treatments for Dry Eye?
Several at-home solutions can help alleviate dry eye symptoms:
- One of the most basic things you can do is blink more often.
- This is especially true when you're reading or using the computer.
- Blinking more often helps renew tear film.
- This is essential for moisturizing and protecting the eyes.
- A warm compress on your eyes can help stimulate natural tear production.
- It's important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
- Dry environments can exacerbate dry eye symptoms, making it important to avoid them as much as possible.
- Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air.
- Avoid windy areas.
- Avoid fans, air conditioners and heat blowing directly on your face.
- You can also use over-the-counter artificial tears or eye drops to help lubricate your eyes.
- If you wear contact lenses, ensure they are clean and follow proper care and hygiene practices.
- What we consume makes a difference!
- Take high-quality fish oil supplements.
- Eat a balanced diet with many vegetables and fruits.
However, if your dry eye symptoms persist or worsen, it's vital to seek the advice of an eye doctor to determine the underlying cause and to receive appropriate treatment.
Dry Eye Exam
A visit to an eye doctor can help determine the cause of dry eye and the best treatment plan. At Vision Source Specialists, we start with a symptom questionnaire followed by special
images of the eyes' surface. Certain dyes are inserted into the eye to detect cell damage and
tear quality and quantity.
Medical Treatments for Dry Eye
Treatments for dry eye may include:
- Intense Pulsed Light
- Eyelid hygiene
- Allergy treatments
- Oral or topical medications
Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD)
MGD is the cause of most dry eyes, so it is a big part of the testing we focus on at Vision Source Specialists. Since MGD is the most common cause of dry eye, treatments to clear clogged oils out of the glands are very common.
This may include a treatment called Lipiflow, which melts the oils in the glands and then clears the clogged oil. It is a comfortable and effective procedure.
Another treatment is Intense Pulsed Light, which reduces inflammation and loosens clogged oils in the eyelid glands.
Who Suffers from Dry Eye?
Anyone can struggle with dry eye syndrome, but some people are more prone to having dry eyes than others.
Autoimmune conditions can lead to dry eyes.
- Some people may not have dry eye alone, but they may have a co-condition called blepharitis, which is inflammation of the eyelids which can also irritate the surface of the eyes.
Certain medications can cause dry eye symptoms.
- Most medications causing dry eye are anticholinergics, which inhibit acetylcholine binding to postsynaptic muscarinic receptors.
- Antihistamines and decongestants, antihistamines for digestive systems, and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are common medications that can cause dry eye symptoms as well.
If you are experiencing persistent dry eye symptoms, call us at Vision Source Specialists in Rapid City to schedule a comprehensive eye exam today. We can diagnose the underlying cause of your dry eyes and help relieve your symptoms!