Questions on DRY EYES
Q: Is it true that Dry Eye symptoms seem to be more severe in the winter than in the warmer spring and summer months?
A: Dry eye symptoms are worst in the winter because outdoors cold winds irritate the eyes, and indoors heaters blow dry heat to the eyes. The symptoms are worse if the person already has a current chronic dry eye condition such as poor tear quality, tear production insufficiency, eyelid diseases, or wear eye accessories (contact lenses, eye makeup,…).
Q: When should a person come in to see their optometrist for Dry Eye symptoms?
A: If the symptoms last for more than a day or two, interfere with your activities, cause blurry vision, or are accompanied by other signs or symptoms such as redness, pain, mucous discharge, burning sensation, or increased light sensitivity.
Q: What is the examination like to determine whether someone is suffering from Dry Eyes?
A: The doctor will determine the quality and the amount of tears produced, diagnose the diseases that cause dry eyes such as arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome,…, and identify the physical causes of dry eyes (dry working environment, extended contact lens wear,.,,).
Q: I have a friend whose eyes are frequently overly watery. That isn't Dry Eye, is it?
A: Watery eyes condition has many causes, among which is dry eyes. This may sound like a contradiction, but because of the tear reflex, dry eyes force more tears to be produced to protect the cornea. So, by treating the cause of the dry eyes, the eyes will stop watering.
Q: Are some people more prone to having Dry Eyes than others?
A: Besides environment and life style (dry environment, extended contact lens wear,…), the following conditions may cause dry eyes: skin or eyelid disease (rosacea,…) inflammation of the eyelid (blepharitis,…), infection (conjunctivitis,…), medical condition (Sjogren’s syndrome, arthritis,…).
Q: What are the typical treatments used to help people suffering from Dry Eyes?
A: The use of artificial tears during waking hours and/or lubricating gels before sleep should alleviate most dry eye conditions. Warm compresses, which are a gentle “massage” of the eyelids with a warm wet towel, will keep the eyelashes clean and healthy, thus giving more comfort to the cornea. Taking omega-3 fatty acid supplement may increase tear quality and tear production. If the symptoms of dry eyes persist, one should consult an eye doctor.
Our Office, Healthy Eye Center Family Optometry, provides comprehensive eye exams where we diagnose and treat Dry Eye condition.