Dry eye syndrome is a very common problem, especially among older patients. Nearly 50% of American adults routinely experience dry eye symptoms. While over the counter eye drops are available, this solution does not adequately address everyone’s problems. In fact, some eye drops that claim to alleviate dry eye symptoms can actually worsen your condition. If you are experiencing symptoms of dry eyes, it is important that you set up a time to come to our office and let our doctors examine and recommend an appropriate dry eye treatment so you can once again experience normal, comfortable vision.
Dry eye syndrome is a condition in which there is a chronic lack of lubrication and moisture on the surface of the eyes. The main symptoms include persistent dryness, scratchiness, a burning sensation, redness, and/or the feeling that something is in your eye (“foreign body sensation”).
In less severe cases, dry eyes manifests as a subtle, constant irritation of the eye, but in more advanced cases the tissues of the eye may become inflamed, red, and painful. Dry eye syndrome can also cause an overstimulation of the watery component of tears as the body attempts to protect the eyes. Blurred vision and difficulty looking at a computer screen are two common complaints voiced by dry eye patients. If you are suffering from any of these symptoms, call us today for an appointment. During your appointment, our doctors will review your medical history and symptoms to determine if dry eye syndrome is responsible for your discomfort.
Fortunately, there are a number of treatments that can help alleviate dry eye symptoms.
As a first course of action, our doctors may recommend that you try artificial tear eye drops, which will lubricate your eyes and may alleviate dryness and scratchiness. Prescription eye drops to reduce inflammation are another option commonly recommended by eye doctors. If these solutions do not sufficiently relieve symptoms, our eye doctors may recommend the use of a tiny insert called Lacrisert, which is placed in the lower eyelid and releases a lubricating solution continuously throughout the day.
Another option is the placement of a temporary or permanent lacrimal plug in the tear drainage duct of the eyelids. There are a variety of plugs available and they all serve to slow down tear drainage from the eye, thus keeping the eye moist and comfortable. In addition, our doctors may recommend that you humidify and/or clean the air in your home and office by using an air filter or humidifier, as dust and dry air can irritate the eyes. The use of adequate eye protection while in sunny or cold conditions may also be required.
Dry eye syndrome is a chronic condition, but our caring team can help you manage the condition so you can feel more comfortable and enjoy clear vision once again. If you are suffering from dry, itchy, irritated eyes, contact the New Jersey Eye Center today.
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