What You Need to Know About Dry Eye Syndrome

What You Need to Know About Dry Eye Syndrome

Healthy eyes are lubricated with a protective film of tears. Your tears are made up of a well-balanced solution of water, proteins, and fats that keep the surface layer of your eyes smooth, so you can see clearly. If your eyes do not produce enough tears or if your tears evaporate too quickly, you could have Dry Eye Syndrome. Here is What You Need to Know About Dry Eye Syndrome including some symptoms that you could be experiencing.

Dry Eye Syndrome is not an uncommon disorder. Approximately ten percent of our population is troubled with dry eye symptoms. Some of those symptoms include:

  • Stinging or burning
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Redness
  • Gritty feeling in the eyes
  • Sensitivity to wind, smoke or light
  • Inability to wear contact lenses comfortably

Your ophthalmologist may want to determine the cause of your dry eyes.

Most people living with dry eye syndrome have few problems and require little intervention. Unfortunately, if severe dry eye syndrome is left untreated, this syndrome can lead to serious complications. Your ophthalmologist may want to determine the cause of your dry eyes. Some possible causes of dry eyes could include advancing age,  a side effect of medications or any of the following conditions:

  • Autoimmune disorders (Sjogren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis or Lupus)
  • Antihistamines or antidepressants
  • Smoking
  • Windy or dry climate
  • Medical conditions (Bells palsy, diabetes)
  • Surgery for vision correction
  • Some pain medications

Often, treating the condition causing Dry Eye Syndrome will alleviate the symptoms. There are several ways you can improve eye comfort and reduce the symptoms associated with Dry Eye Syndrome. Some suggestions include:

  • Blink more often while using your computer, reading or watching television to lubricate your eyes
  • Take frequent breaks from computer screens
  • Use a humidifier in your home
  • Eat more foods high in omega three fatty acids
  • Protect your eyes from wind and hot air with wrap around glasses

Treating your Dry Eye Syndrome can help prevent complications. Untreated Dry Eye Syndrome can cause infection, corneal ulcers and scarring. If left untreated, your eyes could become inflamed and infected, putting your vision at risk. Treatment of dry eye syndrome typically involves the use of artificial tears or nightly eye ointments. Occasionally tiny plugs are inserted into the tear ducts to help keep tears from draining too quickly. Your ophthalmologist may prescribe a  Boston Scleral lens, a contact lens that sits on the whites of your eyes and creates a protective fluid layer under the contact lens.

If your dry eyes are not responding to home treatment, you should schedule an appointment with your ophthalmologist.  In Sydney and Hornsby, contact George St Eye Center, for expert care for treatment of eye disease and laser eye surgery.