Having dry eyes can be frustrating whether the gritty, stinging sensation lasts for a few hours or feels like a natural part of life. There are several reasons why a person may develop dry eye, from health problems to medications to dry weather. Regardless of why your eyes have become extraordinarily dry, it’s good to question whether or not you could benefit from an eye exam.
What Are The Symptoms of Dry Eye?
Because of the term used to describe this condition, it’s easy to overlook the fact that dry eye syndrome can show up in several ways, such as:
- Persistent itchiness, burning or stinging
- Sensitivity to light
- Eye redness
- A sensation of having something in the eye
- Difficulty reading or observing a screen
- Excessive eye-watering
- Blurry vision
- Eye fatigue or a feeling of the eyelids being heavy
- Thick mucus in the eyes or around them
- Difficulty wearing contact lenses
- Difficulty driving at night
- Trouble producing tears when you feel like crying
Depending on the extent of tear film disruption, several of these symptoms may occur at the same time. Some people can find the relief they need using artificial tears. However, if dry eye symptoms persist, it’s best to schedule an ophthalmic exam.
“Dr. Murrell did a perfect job getting the oil flowing in my eyes. Has me on over the counter drops that are working wonders. The staff from start to finish did an amazing job.”
When to See a Doctor
It is possible to see your general physician to discuss dry eye syndrome. However, ophthalmologists have additional training that allows them to use innovative solutions to improve tear film production and retention. Dr. Murrell has treated patients who have used prescription eye drops and even had punctal plugs inserted, and have still not achieved the desired outcome. In our Amarillo office, dry eye syndrome may be successfully treated with Lipiflow or EyeXpress.
What Happens If Dry Eye Persists?
There are two primary reasons why the symptoms of dry eye may persist even with the use of lubricating eye drops: tear film inflammation and oil dysfunction. For tears to stay on the surface of the eye, the oil component of the liquid must be healthy. This calls for optimal function in the Meibomian glands that make the tear film. Both Lipiflow and EyeXpress treat poorly functioning Meibomian glands to reduce inflammation and remove blockages that prevent healthy tear production.