Six Signs You Have Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry eyes can be uncomfortable, itchy, even painful. When our eyes don't make enough tears, there is not enough moisture to lubricate the eye structure, causing it to become red, dry, and inflamed. Dry eye syndrome is a common condition for older adults or post-menopausal women, but it can also be an indicator of other eye diseases, such as glaucoma, cataracts, or macular degeneration. You may even experience dry eyes in certain situations, such as in an air-conditioned room, on an airplane, or after long hours looking at a computer screen. Tears can be unstable and inadequate for many reasons. However, they are necessary to maintain the eye's healthy functioning and protect it from external irritants.
At Cataract & Refractive Institute of Florida, board-certified ophthalmologist Dr. James E. Croley III is helping patients in Lee County, FL manage their vision health and symptoms to get the vision care they need. Read on to learn more about dry eye syndrome from Dr. Croley, or contact our office to schedule an eye exam today.
What is dry eye syndrome?
Dry eye syndrome, or dry eye disease, is a common condition that occurs when the tear ducts don't provide adequate lubrication for your eyes. A variety of reasons can disrupt a healthy tear film. The tear film in front of the eye comprises three layers: mucus, aqueous fluid, and fatty oils. This essential trio keeps the surface of the eyes lubricated, clear, and smooth. Any issues with one or all layers can cause dry eyes. Common symptoms of dry eyes, which usually affect both, are:
- Scratchy, stinging, or burning sensation
- Itchy eyes
- Sensitivity to light
- Difficulty wearing contact lenses
- Eye fatigue or blurry vision
- Watery eyes that won't stop
What causes dry eye syndrome?
There are numerous reasons for tear film dysfunction, including vitamin A deficiency, hormonal imbalance, allergies, age, autoimmune disease, or a by-product of taking certain medications. Dry eyes can also indicate the onset of some eye diseases, such as cataracts, glaucoma, or macular degeneration. Along with the uncomfortable side effects of dry eye syndrome, Lee County, FL patients are more at risk of developing eye infections, damage due to inflammation, and even vision loss.
How can you take care of your eyes?
If you notice signs of dry eye syndrome, it is essential to schedule an eye exam at Cataract & Refractive Institute of Florida. Dr. Croley can prescribe eye drops to help control redness, inflammation, and dryness. A follow-up appointment with Dr. Croley may be necessary to monitor how your eyes are responding. Other ways to help prevent dry eye syndrome are:
- Add moisture in the air with a humidifier
- Take periodic breaks during long tasks or repeatedly blink for a few seconds
- Position your computer screen below eye level, so your eyes don't have to be wide open
- Avoid air blowing directly into your eyes
- Wear sunglasses when outdoors to block wind and dry air
- In dryer or higher altitude climates, use artificial tears to lubricate the eyes
Have you been experiencing symptoms of dry eye?
If you're experiencing signs of dry eye syndrome, it's imperative to schedule an eye appointment at Cataract & Refractive Institute of Florida. Dr. James E. Croley III specializes in diagnosing and treating dry eye disease in patients throughout Lee County, FL. Dry eye syndrome can also be an indicator of other more serious eye diseases, like cataracts or glaucoma. Take care of your vision health by contacting our Cape Coral, Lehigh, or Bonita Springs, FL office today.