Learn About Dry Eye with Our New Vision Optometry Team in Wilmette, IL
If you've ever experienced dry itchy eyes, you probably understand how uncomfortable a dry eye condition can be. There are many different possible causes for dry eyes, and our optometry staff at New Vision Optical in Wilmette IL considers it part of our mission to help people get to the bottom of their uncomfortable symptoms.
What is Dry Eye Syndrome?
Dry eye syndrome occurs when a person doesn't produce enough tears, doesn't produce adequate quality tears, or a combination of the two. Insufficient and inadequate tears impair the quality of the tear film, which normally covers the outsides of the eyes in a thin layer and is important for moisture and protection.
There are a variety of different reasons why dry eye may occur, some more serious than others:
- Meibomian gland dysfunction: a blockage or disruption in specialized glands which normally secrete oil into tears; without this oil, tears can evaporate too quickly
- Blepharitis: eyelid inflammation
- Eye allergy: substances such as smoke, pollen, or cosmetics irritate the delicate eye lining and launch an excessive immune system response
- Chronic Dry Eye Syndrome (keratoconjunctivitis sicca): the tear film is insufficient due to lack of tears
- Pink Eye (conjunctivitis): inflammation of the conjunctiva, a clear layer of tissue lining the outer eye and inner eyelid; this is typically caused by a viral or bacterial infection
Risk factors for dry eye syndrome include advancing age, smoking, certain medications, environmental changes, hormonal changes (particularly in women), long-term contact use, excessive screen time on a computer, other underlying health conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes, and a history of eye injury or surgery.
Common Dry Eye Signs & Symptoms
People with dry eyes often complain of the following:
- Red, itchy eyes
- The feeling of grit in the eye (like a piece of sand)
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Excessive watery discharge (an overcompensation to correct dryness) that can dry out and leave a crusty residue on the eyelids and eyelashes
How Our New Vision Optical Wilmette Staff Diagnoses & Treats Dry Eye
Correct treatment depends on accurate diagnosis to determine the underlying cause, because without addressing this then symptom relief will be likely less effective. At our optometry clinic, our Wilmette optometrist team uses a combination of patient history, vision and eye tests, and tear assessment. Based on the exam, we can employ treatments such as:
- Eye drops to restore moisture to the eye
- Eye drops to reduce inflammation in the eye
- Recommendations and follow up for treatment of the underlying condition
Contact New Vision Optical Wilmette Today
Contact our optometry clinic in Wilmette, IL today at (847) 251-3330 to schedule your appointment! We are located at 120 Skokie Blvd.