What Is Dry Eye Syndrome?
Nearly everyone will experience dry, irritated eyes at some point, but when this feeling lingers for a long time or happens over and over, it could be an indication that you are suffering from dry eye syndrome. This condition is caused by an underproduction of tears or unbalanced tear components, which can result from certain medical conditions, some types of prescription drugs, or environmental factors. Human tears are essential for the general health of the eyes; that’s why when they are not present, it can cause severe discomfort and poor vision. At Focal Point Vision in San Antonio, TX, our team of skilled eye doctors effectively diagnose and treat dry eye syndrome.
What Are the Causes and Symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome?
The main causes of dry eye syndrome are the underproduction of tears or poor-quality tears. The production of human tears has three basic parts, and there are a few types of dry eye syndrome depending on which part is being affected. The lacrimal glands secrete the tears, the meibomian glands secrete the oils within the tears, and the goblet cells blend them together. Dry eye syndrome may appear whenever any one of these three aspects of tear production becomes unbalanced. Many different issues can impact each component, such as menopause, smoking, underlying conditions like thyroid disorder, and certain prescription drugs.
Those who suffer from dry eye syndrome often have impaired vision and bloodshot, scratchy, stinging eyes. A lot of people feel like they have sand in their eyes or have pain when inserting contact lenses. Often, individuals with dry eye syndrome also explain that their eyeballs feel swollen and achy. Occasionally, they become sensitive to light and/or have problems with driving at night. In contrast to what the name implies, dry eye can, in some cases, trigger even more tears to compensate for the dryness. Dry eye syndrome is the chronic combination of some or all of these symptoms and typically causes challenges in everyday duties and recreational activities.
Dry Eye Syndrome FAQs
Is dry eye syndrome dangerous?
Tears are essential for good eye health. They wash away foreign particles and keep the surface of the eye smooth. While dry eyes are not an emergency condition, chronic or untreated dry eyes can expose your eyes to potential damage and scarring.
Do I have dry eye syndrome?
The most common symptoms of dry eye syndrome involve dryness, eye irritation, redness, and burning eyes. You may feel as if there is sand or a foreign object in your eye. Wearing contact lenses may also increase your discomfort. If you have one or more of these signs, call our office for an evaluation.
What are my treatment options for dry eye?
Artificial tears or prescription eye drops are the easiest ways to soothe irritated eyes. We may also recommend lifestyle changes such as taking frequent breaks from your computer screen. During a consultation, our board-certified ophthalmologists can review advanced methods for treating the glands to reduce your symptoms.
How Is Dry Eye Syndrome Diagnosed?
The most effective method for finding out if you have dry eye is to have a thorough eye exam. In addition to your symptoms, one of our skilled practitioners will go over your medical history to establish any underlying problems leading to your dry eyes. Your in-depth eye exam may include measuring the quantity and makeup of your tear production and a simple examination of your eyelids, eyes, and corneas with a special light and mirrored lenses. If your eye doctor does conclude that you have dry eye syndrome, they will design an individualized treatment plan according to the details surrounding your case.
Do I Have Dry Eye Syndrome?
Individuals who have dry eye syndrome commonly deal with blurry vision and red, itchy, stinging eyes, as these are the most common symptoms. To determine if you have the condition, you will attend a consultation with one of our eye doctors.
Dry eye takes many different forms, and nearly 86% of patients with the condition reportedly experience signs of meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). To treat this specific type of dry eye syndrome, our board-certified ophthalmologists utilize state-of-the-art technology to warm and compress the glands in the eyelids and reduce symptoms.
Relieve Dry Eye Today
Having dry eye syndrome is not only frustrating, but it can also result in a decreased ability to see if not treated properly. If you are suffering from dry eye symptoms and attempting (but failing) to treat them with over-the-counter solutions, schedule an eye exam at our San Antonio, TX facility. The wonderful ophthalmologists and eye care professionals at Focal Point Vision are able to diagnose and treat many different types of dry eye syndrome.