According to the American Optometric Association, an estimated 16 million Americans suffer from dry eye syndrome. Although having dry eyes once in a while is normal, having them all of the time is not. Fortunately, there are effective treatments available for your dry eyes. Our eye doctors at Devine Eyes in Columbia, SC, would like to look at some of the questions that we run into regarding dry eye syndrome.
What are the Symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome?
Symptoms of dry eye are hard to ignore because they significantly interfere with your daily life. The symptoms include eye pain, eye redness, feeling as if there is always something in the eyes, night blindness, blurry vision, eyes too painful to wear contact lenses, mucus coming out of the eyes, and normal levels of light becoming too painful to tolerate.
Who is Most at Risk for Dry Eye Disease?
Women over the age of 50 are most at risk. Other risk factors include being a woman at any age, especially if pregnant or taking contraceptive pills. Other people at risk include people who have a diet low in vitamin A or Omega-3 fatty acids, people who have had refractive surgery on their eyes, and people who wear contact lenses.
Are There Complications Caused by Dry Eyes?
If dry eyes are left untreated, they can cause serious problems like damage to the cornea, which may lead to blindness. You can also be more prone to getting eye infections.
How is Dry Eye Syndrome Diagnosed?
You will be given a variety of eye tests to rule out other conditions. You may have special colored eye drops placed in your eyes to check for damage.
How is Dry Eye Syndrome Treated?
The first line of treatment for dry eyes is medicated eye drops. If that doesn’t work, then very small plugs are placed in your tear ducts to help prevent tear loss. You do not need to go to a hospital for that. If they do not work, then a tiny insert is placed daily between the lower eyelid and your eye to help create tears.
Are There Tips for Living with Dry Eyes?
There are many eye care tips you can follow to help avoid pain. Use a humidifier in your home to help keep the air around your eyes moist. Shut your eyes while using a hairdryer. Turn down the indoor heating to reduce the amount of dry air your eyes have to cope with. Eat foods rich in vitamin A and Omega-3 fatty acids. Avoid tobacco smoke, or stop smoking, since smoking dehydrates the body and the smoke will irritate your eyes.
Get Dry Eye Treatment in Columbia, SC
If you have questions about your dry eyes and live in the Columbia area, contact Dr. Pockl and Dr. Matthews at Devine Eyes. Call our team today at (803) 376-4545 or reach us through our website by using our online contact form.