Dry eye is an eye condition that causes many uncomfortable symptoms and significantly reduces the quality of your vision. This condition occurs when your eyes don't produce enough tears to provide adequate eye lubrication. It also occurs when the quality of your tears is too low. Thankfully, the condition can easily be addressed by an eye care professional. At EyeWest Vision Clinic, our optometrist has years of experience providing residents of Rogers and St. Michael, MN with reliable eye care services including dry eye treatment.
Who Is at Risk for Dry Eye?
Anyone can develop dry eye. However, some factors can increase your chances of experiencing it including:
- Age: Tear production naturally decreases with age
- Medication: Medications such as decongestants, antihistamines, birth control, antidepressants, high blood pressure meds, hormone replacement therapy, and medication for Parkinson's disease list dry eye as a side effect
- Long-term contact lens use
- Previous laser eye surgery
Symptoms of Dry Eye
Dry eye syndrome causes many symptoms. Some people experience just a couple, while people with serious cases of dry eye will experience multiple. Symptoms include:
- Feeling like there is something in your eyes
- Itchy eyes
- Stringy mucus in the eyes
- Red eyes
- Sensitivity to light
- Trouble driving at night
- Blurry vision
- Eye fatigue
- Watery eyes
- Trouble wearing contact lenses
Diagnosing Dry Eye
Dry eye can be diagnosed during an eye exam. If you let your eye doctor know you are experiencing the symptoms of dry eye, they will perform a Schirmer test. This involves your eye doctor putting a blotting strip under your lower lid. After five minutes, they will check the strip to determine the number of tears that have been absorbed.
Dry Eye Treatment
There are a few treatment options available for dry eye. The one your optometrist chooses will depend on the severity of your condition.
- Artificial tears: Artificial tears are a replacement for natural tears and are prescribed for minor cases of dry eye.
- Tear stimulating medication: These medications are designed to help you produce more natural tears and are prescribed for mild to moderate cases.
- Eye inserts: Eye inserts are the size of a grain of rice and are placed between your lower lid and your eyeball. During the day, the insert will dissolve slowly, having the same effect as artificial tears. They are prescribed for mild to moderate cases.
- Punctal plugs: Punctal plugs are designed to block your tear ducts to prevent the tears you produce from evaporating. This treatment is prescribed for patients with severe dry eyes.
- Thermal cautery: If you are responding well to punctal plugs, your eye doctor can perform a thermal cautery which is a permanent treatment.
Contact Our Optometrist for Dry Eye Treatment in Rogers and St. Michael, MN
For more information on dry eye treatment or to schedule an appointment with our optometrist, call EyeWest Vision Clinic today or request an appointment online.