Dallas Optometrist

Dry Eye TreatmentDallas, TX

In the age of screens and blue light, dry eyes are more common than ever. This can lead to eye irritation and exacerbate any existing eye issues. Fortunately, our professional dry eye treatment can help relieve symptoms and prevent further issues.

Dry eye treatment is available at Pear Eyewear in Dallas and the surrounding area. We know that dealing with dry eyes can be uncomfortable or even painful. Call us today at 469-393-0464 to schedule an appointment or learn more about our services.

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Understanding Dry Eyes

According to the Mayo Clinic, dry eye disease is a common condition in which the affected individual cannot produce enough tears to properly lubricate their eyes. This may occur for a variety of reasons. Whatever the cause, tear instability may inflame the eye and cause damage to the eye’s surface.

Dry eye disease is characterized primarily by a feeling of discomfort. This discomfort may manifest in the form of stinging or burning, and it may be triggered or exacerbated by specific situations. These situations include sitting in an air-conditioned room, looking at a computer screen for a prolonged period, and similar scenarios. Dry eye treatment can help ease this discomfort.

Causes of Dry Eyes

As established in the above section, eyes may dry out when tear production is inadequate and not balanced with tear drainage. In other words, persons with dry eyes may either have an insufficient amount of tears or low-quality tears. Tear production tends to lessen as one gets older, and environmental conditions can also play a factor. High-quality tears are comprised of three balanced layers of oil, water, and mucus.

There are various risk factors for dry eyes, including age, gender, and medications. Most patients over the age of 65 report experiencing some symptoms of dry eye disease. Women are particularly likely to develop dry eyes when undergoing hormonal changes (such as pregnancy, menopause, and even the use of some oral contraceptives). Antidepressants, antihistamines, blood pressure medications, and decongestants are all associated with reduced tear production. Certain medical conditions and other factors may also play a role.

Symptoms of Dry Eyes

Individuals affected by this condition may undergo a wide range of symptoms beyond just eye dryness. For example, they may also experience a stinging or burning sensation accompanied by a feeling of soreness and grittiness in the eyes. There may be stringy mucus in or around the eyes, and the eyes may be especially sensitive to smoke and wind. Eyes may become red, difficult to open, and easily fatigued.

Dry eye disease can even lead to blurred vision, particularly toward the end of the day. Affected individuals may become sensitive to light, and those wearing contact lenses may experience extra discomfort. Eyes may tear up, and double vision may occur. Individuals with dry eyes may even find that their eyelids stick together in the morning. Understandably, many people find these symptoms both frustrating and anxiety-inducing.

Preventing Dry Eyes

As with any other health condition, prevention should always be the first line of defense. Luckily, there are many steps patients can take to prevent dry eyes. Patients should limit exposure to excessive air movements, such as wind and hairdryers. Wearing wraparound sunglasses under such conditions can prevent tear evaporation. Turning on a humidifier can also help, especially in winter, when heating systems are frequently on.

In general, it is best to rest your eyes from frequent reading or screen usage. Taking regular breaks can help eyes regain their moisture. Cigarette smoke can also cause or exacerbate dry eyes. To help eyes regain moisture at the end of the day, patients may want to place a warm compress on the eyes before washing the eyelids with baby shampoo. This can help release any oil present in the eyelids’ glands. Some patients also find relief in supplementing their diets with omega-3 fatty acids.

Treating Dry Eyes

Our optometrist can examine patients for dry eye as part of a comprehensive dilated eye exam. To do so, we may check the amount of tears the patient’s eyes produce, how long it takes the patient’s eyes to dry up, and the structure of the patient’s eyelids. Treatment will vary depending on both the symptoms and the cause of the patient’s condition.

Over-the-counter eye drops, also known as artificial tears, are the most common solution. However, some patients require more intensive care. In such cases, prescription medication may be necessary. We may also recommend lifestyle changes, tear duct plugs, or surgery in certain cases. Only an optometrist can determine what is best.

Call Us Today

Dry eye treatment can dramatically improve your overall quality of life. We at Pear Eyewear can help. Call us today at 469-393-0464 to schedule an appointment or learn more about our services.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between healthy eyes and unhealthy eyes?

Healthy eyes are constantly covered with a tear film that remains stable in between every blink. This tear film prevents the eyes from drying out and assists in clear vision. Unhealthy eyes have tear glands that produce fewer tears, disrupting the tear film. Once it starts breaking down, it breaks down quickly and creates dry spots on the surface.

What medications and health conditions are associated with dry eyes?

Dry eyes can be a side effect of many medications. However, this most commonly occurs with antidepressants, antihistamines, blood pressure medications, and decongestants. Health conditions associated with dry eyes include, but are not limited to, blepharitis, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and thyroid problems.

Are there any complications associated with dry eye disease?

Yes. Though most people with dry eyes do not experience any long-term problems or complications, severe cases may lead to eye inflammation, infection, and damage to the cornea’s surface. This may cause ulceration or scarring. Dry eye disease may also cause conjunctivitis. If you are experiencing severe symptoms of dry eye disease, call us today.

What if my eyes are always watery?

Though seemingly contradictory, weepy eyes can sometimes be indicative of dry eye disease. When dry eyes are irritated, they may overcompensate for their lack of tears. Eyes may also become watery if you have a problem with tear drainage.

Is dry eye disease curable?

Dry eye disease is a chronic condition, meaning there is no known cure. However, treatment can help you manage your symptoms. Lifestyle changes may also help prevent the symptoms from occurring entirely.