Dry eye syndrome is a condition consisting of a chronic lack of sufficient lubrication and moisture on the surface of the eye, causing minor irritation. It can also lead to an inability to wear contact lenses and result in an increased risk of corneal inflammation and eye infections. At Premier Eye Care, your optometrist in Calgary, AB, we provide treatments for relieving dry eye.
Common symptoms of dry eye that can be enough for your eye doctor to make a diagnosis include dryness, scratchiness, and a burning sensation. He or she may also want to measure the amount of tears in your eyes by placing a thin strip of filter paper at the edge of the eye. This is called a Schirmer test and is one way to measure tears. Another symptom is a “foreign body sensation” or feeling that something is in the eye. An unexpected symptom of dry eye is watery eyes, because the excessive dryness can lead to overstimulation of the production of the watery component in your tears.
Essentially, dry eye syndrome is the result of the tear glands in the eye failing to produce enough tears to sufficiently moisturize the eye, or the tears have a chemical composition that causes them to evaporate too quickly. A variety of things can cause dry eye, including as a side effect of medication; living in a dry, dusty, or windy climate with low humidity; long-term contact lens wear; or living or working in an environment with air conditioning or a dry heating system. It is also associated with some systemic diseases such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis and can be a part of the natural ageing process.
Another common condition causing dry eye is meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). For individuals with MGD, the meibomian glands that help produce tears get clogged or have been reduced due to age. Wearing contact lenses and ethnicity are other major factors in patients having MGD.
Treatment for dry eye syndrome may not cure the condition, but can help with managing symptoms. Common treatments include:
Other things you can do to reduce symptoms of dry eye syndrome are to use an air cleaner and/or humidifier to filter out dust and particles and add moisture to the air; taking nutritional supplements that contain essential fatty acids that can decrease symptoms; analyzing current medications to determine whether a medication is causing the problem. If you are on medication, be sure to consult your doctor before making any changes to your regimen.
Dry eye syndrome can be very uncomfortable. Pay a visit to Premier Eye Care in Calgary, AB where we can help you find a treatment that can relieve your symptoms.
Complete the dry eye questionnaire test and evaluate yourself about treatment which would be best for you
What's most surprising to many patients is that dry eye syndrome doesn't always mean that your eyes are dry. The term is used in a broad sense to describe dysfunction in your eyes' tear film, which in turn impacts your level of tear production. As such, you may have the condition known as dry eye but also experience watery eyes.
There can be any number of contributors to tear film dysfunction (such as hormone changes, autoimmune disease, certain medications, ageing, inflamed eyelid glands, or allergic eye disease, to name a few). Still, the cause boils down to two factors. Either your eyelids aren't producing enough oil, or your system is not producing enough water to develop healthy tears.
Symptoms of the condition will vary by individual, but the most common include:
As mentioned earlier, certain factors such as hormone changes, some medications, and inflamed eyelid glands and can contribute to the dysfunction in your tear film. Still, there are certain risk factors as well. These include being over the age of 50, being a contact lens wearer, being a woman, eating a diet that is low in Vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids, or previous refractive surgery.
Yes. That's why seeking treatment from a specialist in dry eye assessment like the team at Premier Eye Care is so important. When left untreated, dry eyes can lead to eye infections, damage to the surface of your eyes, and a decrease in quality of life.
Although there are a variety of treatments available, knowing which to use, or which combinations to use and in what order, is best managed by an eye care professional rather than relying solely on over-the-counter product or home remedy usage.
Please pay a visit to Premier Eye Care in Calgary, AB, where we can help with the best treatment to relieve your symptoms.