You might write off your eye fatigue and blurry vision to overwork at the computer, but if it happens frequently enough, you might be suffering from something more than overuse. Dry eye syndrome is a chronic condition that can affect your vision health and even your lifestyle. At New Vision Optical Wilmette, a surprising number of our patients have been diagnosed with dry eye. If your eye exam reveals symptoms of the condition, you'll likely have a lot of questions.
What Causes Dry Eye Syndrome?
There are two basic types of dry eye that you might experience. With evaporative dry eye, your eye doesn't produce enough of the oily layer in tears that prevents the moisture from evaporating too soon. In aqueous-deficient dry eye, your eye never produces enough moisture in the first place. Our optometrist will do a series of tests to determine which type you have, and which treatments are best for your type.
What Are Some Dry Eye Symptoms?
Not everyone exhibits every symptom, but if you have dry eye syndrome you may begin to feel:
- Dryness, discomfort, and irritation
- A feeling like grit is in your eye
- Burning or stinging
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Constant watering of the eyes
What Are Dry Eye Treatments?
Depending on the severity of your symptoms, our optometrist can offer a wide range of treatments for your condition. Lifestyle changes are generally the first suggestion we make. You can try warm compresses, blinking exercises, fish oil supplements, or special eyelid cleaning techniques. In most cases, artificial tears will help to sooth the worst of the symptoms. For more severe cases we might offer ReStasis, a medication in drop form. You might benefit from punctual plugs, and in the most severe cases, surgery on the tear ducts.
What Can I Do at Home?
There are ways to change your environment to help prevent the worst of your symptoms. Avoid dry air by using a humidifier at home and at work. Always wear sunglasses outside, opting for a wraparound style. Blink more frequently and avoid rubbing your eyes, no matter how good it might feel.
Is There a Cure for Dry Eye Syndrome?
Unfortunately, dry eye syndrome is a chronic condition which can generally be controlled but can't be cured. There are studies being done, but controlling your symptoms is the best that we can do at this time.
Contact Our Optometry Office
Overwork or dry eye syndrome? Only your optometrist can tell for sure. If you're experiencing dry eye symptoms, make an appointment for an eye examination. Give us a call at (847) 230-4796, and we'll schedule a visit right away.