Everyone’s eyes occasionally feel dry or tired, but for individuals with dry eye disease, the symptoms occur repeatedly, day in and day out. Over time, the discomfort of dry eyes can take a toll on vision, mood and quality of life.
Here, Dr. Ernest Kornmehl shares some facts that doctors want you to know about who is at risk of dry eye disease and what can be done about the condition.
Watery eyes can suggest dry eye disease.
Common symptoms of dry eye include constant burning, a scratchy or “foreign body sensation” in the eyes, eye pain, redness and sensitivity to light.
Though it seems ironic, another symptom of dry eyes is excessive tearing. This is a sign the eyes are reacting to persistent dryness and irritation by producing excess tears.
Prolonged screen time can exacerbate dry eye symptoms.
In the digital age, it is hard to limit screen time. But too much time spent staring at a computer, tablet or smartphone naturally slows down blink rate. Blinking is important because it helps spread the tear film over the surface of the eyes. The eyes need to be covered with a healthy amount of tears to stave off dryness.
Dry eye may be linked to an underlying medical condition.
Some cases of dry eye are linked to underlying medical conditions, such as thyroid disease, Sjogren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Dry eye has also been linked to the use of certain medications, including high blood pressure drugs, antihistamines and decongestants.
Left untreated, dry eye can have serious consequences.
Uncontrolled chronic dry eye can have serious consequences on ocular health: inflammation, corneal ulcers and even vision loss. Leaving dry eye untreated can start to affect your ability to perform daily activities like reading, driving or working. It can lead to emotional distress such as depression or anxiety when symptoms don’t improve.
Relief is a phone call or email away.
If you are experiencing uncomfortable symptoms of dry eye, Dr. Kornmehl can help you find much-needed relief. The solution depends on the underlying cause of the problem. Is there a problem with the quality — or quantity — of the tears? Is an underlying medical condition or the use of a certain medication to blame?
Do Contact Lenses Make Dry Eye Worse?
Contact lens wear can be difficult if there is not enough lubrication to support them. It is important to note that long-term contact lens wear reduces corneal sensation, as there is a feedback loop to the lacrimal gland resulting in decreased tear production. This results in your eyes being dry but you do not feel it.
Dr. Kornmehl offers various medicated eye drops, punctal plugs, LipiFlow and IPL therapy for cases of dry eye. Depending on the specifics of your case, he may recommend combining two or more of these therapies for best results.
To consult with Dr. Kornmehl about your dry eye symptoms, please call or email our office today.