Dry eye is a condition in which a person doesn’t have enough quality tears
to lubricate and nourish the eye. Many factors can lead to dry eye: age, gender, medication, medical conditions, environmental factors, and more. When tear glands do not produce enough tears or blocked ducts prevent tears from keeping eyes sufficiently moist, you will likely suffer dry eye symptoms such as:
- Burning, Stinging Sensation
- Difficulty Wearing Contacts
- Vision Complaints
Symptoms may be bad enough that you have to use over the counter eye drops frequently. Unfortunately, OTC eye drops are only meant for temporary relief of dry eyes and do nothing to address the underlying cause of dry eyes. If you have dry eyes, we strongly recommend visiting us at Lifetime Eyecare to have your eyes thoroughly examined for evidence of a gland or tear duct disorder.
Consequences of Untreated Dry Eyes
Neglecting to get treatment for dry eyes means you could be at risk for suffering:
Corneal Scratches/Abrasions -Without enough tears to wash away bits of dirt and debris, your cornea could suffer microscopic scratches that allow bacteria to enter the eye and cause infections.
Corneal Ulcers – These open sores on the cornea develop from infected scratches unprotected by antimicrobial tears.
Corneal Scarring – A serious consequence of leaving dry eyes untreated, corneal scarring may cause blurry vision or even blindness. In some cases, a corneal transplant is necessary to restore vision damaged by corneal scarring.
Who is at Risk for Having Dry Eyes?
Some people are more vulnerable to suffering dry eyes more than others. At Lifetime Eyecare, we frequently treat patients over 50 for dry eyes as well as patients with autoimmune disorders such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. If you are pregnant, using oral contraceptives or going through menopause, your eyes may feel dry and irritated due to hormone fluctuations. Regardless of what is causing reduced tears, you should always seek professional treatment for dry eye to avoid possible long-term consequences to your vision.
We have three different machines to help us understand and get to the root of your dry eyes condition. The TearLab Osmolarity System* is intended to measure the osmolarity of human tears to aid in the diagnosis of dry eye disease. We also have a new way to help treat patients with specific types of dry eye, the LipiFlow Thermal Pulsation System is a revolutionary way to treat Evaporative Dry Eye.
There are a few different treatments for dry eye; over-the-counter artificial tears, eye drops that promote tear production, removable tear duct plugs, warm compresses, eye lid cleaners, and more. Talk to your doctor to find out what the best treatment option will be for you.
Talk to Us About Your Dry Eyes TODAY!
If you have been using over the counter eye drops for dry eye relief, don’t delay receiving a professional diagnosis and treatment from Lifetime Eyecare. Call today to schedule an appointment with us: 616-457-0760.