An estimated five million people in the United States suffer from the annoying symptoms of dry eye! In the sunny Texas climate of Plano, many of our patients complain about dry eyes. If you are seeking relief from Dry Eye Syndrome, our compassionate and knowledgeable optometrists will examine your eyes to recommend the most effective dry eye treatment.
What are common symptoms of dry eye?
Every individual has unique symptoms, yet the most common signs include:
- Scratchy sensation
- Stringy mucus in or around your eyes
- Feeling that sand or grit is stuck under your eyelid
- Stinging or burning
- Pink or red eyes
- Contact lenses are uncomfortable
- Constant blinking or rubbing your eyes
- Blurred vision
- Watery eyes (dry eyes can stimulate excess tear production)
While dry eye is not generally dangerous, the symptoms can disrupt daily life and cause extreme irritation. If you have these symptoms, schedule an appointment for dry eye treatment in our Plano, TX, eye care clinic.
What causes dry eye?
A lack of healthy tears is the source of dry eye. Your tears are composed of water, fatty oils (lipids), and mucus. Altogether, these components protect your eyes from infection and make the surface clear and comfortable. Reduced tear production, an increased evaporation rate of tears, and an imbalance in your tear composition can all cause dry eyes.
Our eye doctors will identify the cause in order to provide the perfect dry eye treatment.
Typical culprits include:
- Extreme environments (hot or cold), low humidity, high pollution and/or strong winds
- A problem with your tear-producing glands
- Extended time reading or viewing a computer
- Wearing contact lenses
- Post-LASIK surgery
- Aging, specifically with females
- Hormone replacement therapy
- Smoking, or being around cigarette smoke
Can dry eye cause complications?
Tears are essential for protecting the surface of your eyes against infection. Dry eyes are therefore associated with an increased risk of ocular infection. When severe, they may also lead to scratches on the corneal surface, inflammation and vision problems. In general, dry eyes interfere with everyday tasks and affect your quality of life. Dry eyes can also prevent LASIK and other vision correction procedures.
How is dry eye diagnosed?
In addition to listening to your symptoms, our eye care specialists may measure your tears with a Schirmer test. We will place a thin blotting strip of paper under your lower eyelid and then check the quantity of tears absorbed by the strip. Other procedures include inserting eye drops to inspect the condition of your corneal surface, or measuring tear osmolarity with a specialized device.
What is dry eye treatment?
We will take your health condition and lifestyle into consideration in order to customize a treatment plan for you in our Plano, TX, eye care office.
Medicines for dry eye include:
- Eye lubricants
- Antibiotics to decrease the amount of bacteria in your eyes that damage healthy lipids
- Artificial tear inserts, which dispense moisture into your eyes gradually
- Anti-inflammatory drugs to boost natural tear production
Punctal plug insertion is a quick procedure that we perform in our Plano office. We will block your tear drainage with small silicone plugs, thereby allowing more moisture to disperse across the eye surface.
Is there any dry eye treatment to do at home?
Your best bet is to pay attention to which situations are most likely to cause your dry eye symptoms. Then you can avoid those situations!
In addition to our eye doctor’s recommendations, here are some helpful DIY tips:
- Invest in a humidifier to add moisture into the air
- Install an air filter to remove atmospheric irritants
- Try artificial tears and other over-the-counter remedies (Check with our optometrist first about which brands are best for you!)
- Wear sunglasses to block UV rays and wind; wraparounds are ideal
- Drink, and keep drinking! It is essential to stay well hydrated
- Take eye vitamins and fish oil supplements
For lasting relief from dry eye syndrome, reserve an appointment with our eye care professionals in Plano, TX. We stay current with all the latest dry eye treatment to soothe your vision!