Dry eye syndrome is a common condition that occurs when your eyes do not produce enough tears, or the tears that the eye does produce are of poor quality. It has been reported that more than ten million people in America experience this eye condition.
Although certain medications and other factors can cause dry eye syndrome, it is most often connected to age. Over time, your eyes may struggle to produce the necessary ingredients for a healthy tear film that adequately lubricates your eyes.
Keep reading to learn five signs that your dry eyes should be treated by an eye care professional!
1. Foreign Body Sensation
Often the first sign of dry eyes is a feeling that you have something in your eye that can’t be blinked out or flushed away. This may affect your ability to wear contact lenses or cause increased sensitivity to bright light.
2. Itching, Burning, or Stinging
You may also experience prolonged itching, burning, or stinging in your eyes. While many people occasionally have these symptoms, dry eye syndrome causes prolonged periods of eye discomfort.
3. Increased Tearing
Dry eye can also cause increased tearing. This symptom is caused by an over-production of tears as your eye attempt to correct dryness.
4. Eye Redness
If your eyes have a pronounced redness in combination with irritation, it may be a sign of dry eyes.
5. Sensitive to Environmental Factors
If you notice an increased sensitivity to environmental factors, like wind or smoke, this also may point to dry eye. If you live in a dry climate, the lack of humidity in the air can worsen the symptom of dry eye.
When to Visit Your Eye Care Professional
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to see your eye care provider as soon as possible, as untreated dry eye can lead to more serious eye problems. Untreated dry eye syndrome can result in corneal ulcers or scarring that can permanently impair your vision.
If you are diagnosed with dry eye, there are several treatment options available, depending on your individual situation. For less severe cases, dry eye symptoms may be able to be treated with over-the-counter or prescription eye drops, which promote adequate lubrication of your eyes.
There are surgical procedures for more advanced cases of dry eyes, like inserting punctal plugs to reduce tear drainage from your eyes. These procedures are often done right in your eye care provider’s office with short recovery times.
You can also take steps at home to help alleviate the symptoms of dry eyes. Some of these steps include using a humidifier during drier months, taking frequent breaks to rest your eyes when working in front of a screen, and increasing your use of artificial tears.
At Shepherd Eye Center, our eye doctors have years of experience treating dry eye syndrome. Our knowledgeable eye care providers can give you an accurate diagnosis of your dry eyes and offer effective treatment options so that your vision stays both clear and comfortable.
Are you experiencing symptoms of dry eye? Schedule an appointment at Shepherd Eye Center at one of our 5 locations in Las Vegas or Henderson, NV, today to schedule a consultation and eye exam with one of our experienced eye care providers!