What is dry eye disease?
Your eyes are constantly bathed in tears, which is a complex fluid made up of three distinct layers. This tear film helps to keep your eyes healthy and comfortable. The watery layer provides hydration, the outer oily layer prevents tear evaporation, and the inner slippery layer ensures that the tears spread evenly over your eyes. However, if any of these layers aren't working properly, it can result in dry eyes. This can happen when tear ducts don't produce enough tears or when tear evaporation increases. Some common causes of dry eyes include medical conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, or meibomian glands that don't produce enough oil.
Dry eyes occur when the tears become unstable and cause dry spots on the surface of the eyes. This can lead to inflammation and the uncomfortable symptoms associated with dry eye disease.
Spot the symptoms
The first step in determining if you might suffer from dry eye disease is identifying the symptoms such as:
Gritty, burning, watery or red eyes
Eyes sometimes feel uncomfortable or irritated and itchy
Watery eyes in the wind
Film over their vision
Blurred vision and/or need to over-blink
Discomfort while reading digital screens
Sensitivity to light
If you believe you suffer from any of the above symptoms, and/or have some of these risk factors, you may have dry eye disease and should book an appointment with one of our doctors. We now offer dry eye disease Personalized Treatment Plans so together we can confidently and properly address your issues.
- Environmental: Where we live and the climate
- Occupation: Computer screen time or working outdoors
- Medications: Antihistamines, high blood pressure medications (diuretics), and thyroid supplements
- Gender: Women more than men, especially those in post-menopausal years
Dealing with dry eyes
With some relatively simple lifestyle changes, there are steps you can easily incorporate into your daily routine to make symptoms of dry eye disease less severe. These include:
- Using a humidifier
- Getting enough sleep
- Reducing contact lens wear
- Wearing sunglasses to block the sun and wind
- Drinking sufficient water
- Taking breaks from your smart phone and computer and reducing screen brightness
- Warm compresses
The FYidoctors Dry Eye Solution
Treating dry eyes can be a challenge. Many of the underlying issues that contribute to dry eye disease don’t have simple remedies and treatment plans vary with the individual. Dry eyes may respond well to tear supplementation, but once the problem advances or becomes chronic, inflammation and permanent damage may occur and necessitate further care. At FYidoctors , we’ve incorporated advanced testing and treatments in many of our clinics to diagnose and help manage dry eye disease. We’ve investigated the many technologies, techniques and products available and are proud to offer our patients a variety of options.
Dry Eye Care as part of our Comprehensive Examinations
Dry eyes can be problematic at all ages, and symptoms can present themselves due to a variety of reasons. Depending on your situation, treatment can be as simple as artificial tears and gels, dry eye drops, supplements such as omega 3, heating masks and easy lifestyle changes.
If the symptoms are more advanced due to physical, environmental, or occupational stressors, and the initial approach isn’t providing adequate solutions to your dry eye issues, more advanced testing may be required. A number of diagnostic tests may be incorporated to confirm the level of damage, including testing for inflammatory markers in the tears, tear osmolarity and meibography. The diagnosis and treatment at this level goes beyond what occurs in a regular comprehensive eye examination, and your doctor will offer more advanced testing, and then prescribe a personalized plan for treatment.
Ultimately, we want to offer options for management and treatment of dry eye disease for a better quality of life and improved comfort.
Start your comprehensive eye care treatment plan today at one of our locations.