If your eyes are frequently dry and you struggle with annoying symptoms, you might have dry eye disease. Many factors can cause dry eye, including an underlying condition, medication, wearing contact lenses, or too much screen time.
No matter the cause, you should know when to schedule an appointment with an eye doctor. Treating this condition will reduce your discomfort and help prevent long-term eye damage.
Tears consist of oil, mucus, and water that lubricate and protect the eye’s surface from infection and injury. Your eyes naturally make tears. So, you probably do not give much thought to the quality and quantity of tears they produce.
Dry eye syndrome is when your tears evaporate too quickly or when your eyes produce insufficient tears. Your condition can be mild, moderate, or severe. Some of the symptoms you may experience include:
Pain while wearing contact lenses
Stinging or burning sensation
Irritation or redness
Eye doctors diagnose dry eye syndrome through an eye exam. They examine the eyelids and surface of the eye. They also check the patient’s blink rate, eye movement, and tear thickness.
Do you suffer from frequently dry eyes? If so, you should know when to seek treatment from your eye doctor. Here are signs that it is time to ask your doctor about new treatments.
You can experience temporary dry eyes due to environmental factors, but the problem should resolve quickly with or without treatment. If your dry eyes are a chronic, stubborn problem, it is time to visit your eye doctor. If you cannot determine the underlying cause, it is imperative to do so.
Dry eyes can lead to complications that can impair your eyesight and overall quality of life. Prolonged symptoms may include constant scratchiness or burning, eye pain, extreme light sensitivity, and redness. You may also feel as if there is something in your eyes. Seek treatment as soon as possible if you experience any of these symptoms.
At first, OTC products may treat your condition. If they stop providing enough lubrication after a while, it is time to consult your eye doctor. Your doctor will prescribe more potent treatments for your condition. These include unique products to stimulate tear production or reduce inflammation in your eyes. Your eye doctor may also recommend eye inserts if your dry eye does not respond to artificial tears. These inserts dissolve and release a lubricating substance to relieve moderate to severe dry eye symptoms.
Dry eye syndrome can be a symptom of another medical condition. So, you should see your doctor if you start experiencing other symptoms besides your dry eyes. Your eye doctor may refer you to another specialist to determine the cause of your chronic dry eye.
Eye dryness can worsen until it becomes almost impossible to keep your eyes open. That can affect your ability to work, read, drive, and perform many other tasks. In this case, it would be best to seek treatment.
For more on dry eye disease, call Advanced Eyecare Consultants at one of our offices in IL: Libertyville 847-994-4500 or Lake Zurich 847-438-7700.