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  • Dry Eye Symptoms and Treatment

  • Symptoms of Dry Eyes
    • Blurred vision episodes
    • Decreased tolerance of reading, working on the computer, or any activity requiring sustained visual attention
    • Discharge from your eye
    • Eye fatigue
    • Eye stinging or burning
    • Heavy eyelids
    • Pain and redness of your eye
    • Sandy or gritty feeling as if something is in your eye
    • Unable to cry when emotionally stressed
    • Uncomfortable contact lenses
  • Dry eyes are not only painful, but can also damage your eye tissues and impair vision. Dry eyes affect many people and can lead to a poor quality of life. Dry eyes may be due to disease like Sjögren, use of medication or the environment.  Dry eye can also develop after the refractive surgery known as LASIK. 

    Eye comfort depends largely upon sufficient moisture in your eye. Moisture on the surface of your eye protects it. On the surface of the cornea the outer layer is your tear film, the moisture laden surface of the eye.  Tears bathe the surface of the eye, keeping it moist, and wash away dust and debris. They also help protect the eye from bacterial and other types of infections.

    To prevent dry eyes, protect your eyes from the environment, lubricate your eyes, apply warm compress, see your eye doctor or call us for an optometrist eye exam.  

    Inflammation of the surface of your eye may occur along with dry eye. If left untreated, this condition can lead to pain, ulcers, or scars on the cornea, and some loss of vision.

    Wohl Optics has patients with plugs in the drainage holes, small circular openings at the inner corners of the eyelids where tears drain from the eye into the nose. Lacrimal plugs, also called punctal plugs, can be inserted painlessly by your eye care professional. You usually do not feel them. These plugs are made of silicone or collagen, are reversible, and are a temporary measure. In severe cases, permanent plugs may be considered.

    If you are a computer user, remember to blink. When you work at the computer, your blink rate decreases sharply.  Researchers have discovered that equally important with blinking is blinking completely. Making sure that when you blink you close the eyelids completely makes a large difference in reducing the symptoms of dry eye and computer eye syndrome. 

    Warning - Artificial tears that say they will "get the red out" will reduce circulation of blood in your eye and decrease production of tear film, actually making your eyes still drier.  If you have dry eyes, artificial tears are usually recommended which provide short-term relief, but only hide the symptoms without improving the condition.

    In fact, preservatives in such formulations can actually worsen your dry eye condition. The only way to make sure you are using preservative free formulations is to use individual ampules.  Even though many artificial tears say they are preservative free, they really are not.

  • Medications Can Cause Dry Eyes

    Medications that may cause dry eyes include:

    • Appetite suppressants.
    • Birth control pills.
    • Hormone replacement.  Women who are on hormone replacement therapy may experience dry eye symptoms. Women taking only estrogen are 70 percent more likely to experience dry eye, whereas those taking estrogen and progesterone have a 30 percent increased risk of developing dry eye.
    • Blood pressure medications.
    • Medications for acne, such as Accutane can cause the feeling of dust in the eye, burning eyes, redness, short-term vision distortions, and night blindness.