New Eyes Expert: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments for Dry Eye Disease
Posted on January 9, 2018 in Answers From Our Experts
As part of our Ask The Expert series, Dr. Roman Fajardo discusses dry eye symptoms and treatments. Dry eye disease is very common, affecting over 16 million people in the United States, but fortunately simple treatment options are available. Keep reading to learn more about dry eye from Dr. Fajardo.
What are common symptoms of dry eye disease?
There are varying symptoms, and many of them can be indicative of other conditions, so if you experience any of them, it is important to see an ophthalmologist. Common symptoms include feeling dry or like there is something in your eye, blurry vision, itchy, watery eyes, pain, or a heavy feeling. Many people don’t realize that watery eyes are actually a symptom of dry eye! It happens because the eye is overcompensating for the dryness; dry spots on the cornea trigger over lubrication.
What are the treatment options for dry eye?
Lubricating drops are a simple solution that work for many people. There are lots of over the counter brands available and we encourage patients to try a few to find their personal preference. Most drops can be used up to 4 times a day. If you find yourself reaching for drops more than 4 times a day, use preservative free. Preservative free drops can be used as often as needed. Another easy home remedy is to place a warm compress over the eyes, which helps meibomian glands.
- Warm compresses – helps meibomian glands.
- If those don’t work Restasis or Xiidra medicated drops.
I have tried over the counter eye drops, but I still have issues with dry eye? Is there anything else I can try?
Yes, if over the counter drops don’t provide relief there are two different prescription drops that may help – Restasis or Xiidra. There is also a procedure to insert punctal plugs for longer lasting relief. This is a quick and painless procedure.
My eyes get tired if I’m on the computer too long. Is there anything I can do to prevent this?
We don’t blink as often when we concentrate. Blinking helps keep our eyes lubricated and our eyelids are like windshield wipers – they work better when they are lubricated. Take frequent “blink breaks” when you’re working and limit optional screen time to give eyes a break.
Are there any supplements I can take to help with dry eye?
There are many vitamins available for eye health, but one that has the most scientific evidence proving it is beneficial for ocular health is omega 3, which is often found in fish oil supplements.
Who gets dry eye?
Dry eye is super common across the population, but since eye produce fewer tears over time we do see more dry eye as people age. Location is also a factor since dry climates can trigger dry eye. Las Vegas is very dry, so we see many dry eye cases here.
Is there anything I can do to prevent dry eye?
If you wear eye makeup, make sure to completely remove all makeup at the end of the day. Leaving traces of eye makeup or other debris on the eyes can cause blepharitis, which is a chronic inflammatory condition which causes discomfort. Baby shampoo can be used to gently cleanse the eyelids and lashes.
If my dry eye goes untreated, what will happen?
Dry eye is easily treated, but left untreated it can have serious consequences. Severe dry eye leads to dry spots on the cornea which can be painful and cause scarring that will affect vision permanently.
If I have dry eye disease, what should I do?
It is always best to schedule an exam with an experienced eye doctor to diagnosis and recommend best treatment plan. You can start over the counter eye drops right away though.
Dry eye symptoms can be chronic and uncomfortable, but they are easily treated. If you experience dry eye symptoms schedule an eye exam with Dr. Fajardo or one of our other talented doctors at at New Eyes Las Vegas, contact our office today.