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Dry Eye Clinic

Dry Eye Diagram

Are your eyes dry, itchy, and irritated? These are often symptoms of a chronic eye condition called dry eye syndrome. Kresloff Eye Associates is a family eye care practice dedicated to caring for our patients’ sight at every age, including treating dry eyes.

What is Dry Eye Syndrome?

Dry eye syndrome occurs when the eyes don’t have enough moisture or lubrication, making them feel dry and uncomfortable. To have healthy tears, you must have three components in the tear film: water, oil, and mucus. 

If you’re missing any of these three in your tear film, you may experience the uncomfortable symptoms that come with having dry eyes. Dry eyes occur if you’re not producing enough tears or the tears produced are low in quality and cannot provide sufficient nutrients to your eyes.

Causes of Dry Eyes

Many things can lead to dry eyes, including:

  • Aging, as your eyes start producing fewer tears as you get older
  • Spending too much time looking at digital devices like your computer, smartphone, or tablet
  • If you’re in a dry environment
  • Some medications which include dry eye as a side effect
  • Certain medical conditions, like arthritis, may affect your ability to produce enough tears

If you think you may have dry eye syndrome, schedule an appointment at Kresloff Eye Associates. Having dry eyes doesn’t necessarily mean you have the chronic eye condition, so it’s essential to see your eye doctor to determine the root cause of your symptoms and the appropriate treatment.

Signs and Symptoms of Dry Eyes

There are many signs and symptoms of dry eye syndrome beyond having dry eyes. These can include the following:

  • Dry eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Finding it difficult or challenging to wear contact lenses
  • Redness
  • Experiencing light sensitivity
  • Eye fatigue
  • Mucus or discharge around the eyes
  • Itchiness
  • Experiencing a foreign body sensation
  • Grittiness

Those with dry eye syndrome may only experience one of these symptoms, or they may experience more. Each patient is unique, and their discomfort level may vary.

When is it Time to See an Eye Doctor About Your Dry Eyes?

If you have dry eyes, you may have been putting off seeing your eye doctor about them. But they are your best resource. It’s time to see your eye doctor about your dry eyes if the following applies to you:

You Find Yourself Reaching for Artificial Tears, or Eye Drops All the Time

Needing eye drops occasionally is something that most people experience, but if you need them more often than not because your eyes feel so dry, it’s time to see your eye doctor about a better option. They can prescribe something that will help your symptoms and increase your ability to produce tears, resulting in relief from the frustrating symptoms of dry eyes.

You’ve Made Small Lifestyle Changes without Seeing a Difference

You can do several things to try to treat dry eyes on your own, like drinking more water, reducing how much time you spend in front of screens, or putting humidifiers in the places you spend the most time. You may also try warm compresses, keeping eye drops and artificial tears in your purse or at work, or being more mindful of blinking enough. 

But if you’ve attempted to make several lifestyle changes without seeing a difference in your dry eye symptoms, you should contact your eye doctor about more effective options. Many patients find that making lifestyle changes alone is insufficient and may need to include medication or other treatment options to see the desired results.

It’s Become Almost Impossible to Wear Contact Lenses

Many people that wear contact lenses also find that they struggle with the symptoms of dry eye syndrome. If you can no longer wear your contact lenses because your eyes feel dry, irritated, and unable to tolerate the visual aids, it’s a sign to talk to your ophthalmologist about your dry eyes. 

Having dry eyes can be incredibly frustrating, but keeping your eyes lubricated and well-hydrated is also essential. Without enough moisture, your eyes can’t stay healthy, affecting your vision and ability to see clearly.

Why is it Important to Treat Dry Eyes?

If you have dry eyes, treatment is the best way to ensure they get enough moisture and lubrication. Besides being uncomfortable, leaving dry eyes untreated can be detrimental to you.

Dry Eye Syndrome Can Damage the Surface of the Eye

Without treatment, patients with dry eye syndrome may damage the surface of the eye. This damage can increase the risk of infection and make it harder to see clearly, causing other vision problems.

Dry Eyes Can Make Your Vision Blurry

If you have dry eyes, you may notice that your vision is often blurry or fuzzy instead of sharp and clear. Less than sharp vision can make reading a book or driving a car more difficult. You may also start experiencing more discomfort while trying to complete everyday activities.

Untreated Dry Eye Syndrome Can Lead to Corneal Abrasions

Severe cases of dry eye syndrome can lead to corneal abrasions. These abrasions are scratches on the cornea, and severe ones can damage your vision and eyes permanently.

By treating dry eye syndrome, you can avoid these problems. But you’ll also be able to finally find the relief you’ve been looking for, as treating dry eye syndrome will get to the root of what is causing your dry eyes and treat it effectively.

Do you have dry eyes? Find out how to get the relief you need for your eyes by scheduling an appointment with the caring team at Kresloff Eye Associates in Collingswood, NJ, now!

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