Dry Eyes: Should You See the Doctor?

Dry Eyes: Should You See the Doctor? | W. John Murrell, M.D. | Amarillo TXIf you’ve ever had a bout of dry eyes, you know this is not a small problem. The irritation, foreign body sensation, and excess watering can be more than frustrating. These symptoms of dry eye can be so uncomfortable that they inhibit you from working or enjoying activities you would normally enjoy.

Dry eye syndrome doesn’t affect vision – at least not long term. For this reason, it may seem like a temporary condition that needs no special attention. Not so. Here, we want to discuss why dry eye may occur and when you may want to get help from your Amarillo ophthalmologist.

What May Cause Excessive Dryness

There are several reasons why a person may develop irritation from dryness, including:

  • Digital eye strain. This is a common cause of dry eyes. Taking a break from the computer, tablet, iphone, or other devices should help.
  • Dry eye may occur after certain medical or cosmetic eye procedures.
  • Contact lenses may affect the retention of fluid in the eyes.
  • Environmental factors such as air conditioning or heating, the wind, and cold temperatures.
  • Allergies and other health conditions such as Grave’s disease affect eye health.
  • Medications and personal care products including oral contraceptives or hormone therapy, antidepressants, and allergy medications could lead to dryness.

Meeting the Objective

The goal in treating dry eyes, whether through self-care or with medical care, is to support eye lubrication. There are numerous suggestions floating around the internet that promote certain remedies for dry eyes. These range from eye exercises to yoga to certain nutritional supplements. Studies are inconclusive as to the benefits of any singular approach – except limiting screen time. When environmental factors are to blame, adding a humidifier to a home or office may also support moisture in the eyes.

In addition to staying hydrated and aware of the environment, individuals with dry eyes may also use lubricating eye drops to reduce symptoms. However, this may not always work. When dryness lasts more than a week or two, or frequently occurs, the best approach to treatment is to schedule a comprehensive eye exam. The chronic dry eye may be improved with treatment of the meibomian glands that produce tears, or with medicated eye drops.

Schedule a Consultation

Have your eyes been dry for a while now? We can help you regain comfort. Call 806-351-1177 to learn how Lipiflow treatment has helped our other Amarillo patients.

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