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SETON OPTOMETRY - 403.276.2020

Dry Eye Treatment

Dry eye occurs when your tear glands do not produce enough tears or produce tears that do not have the proper chemical composition which causes them to evaporate too quickly. Its consequences range from minor irritation to the inability to wear contact lenses and an increased risk of corneal inflammation and eye infections.

What can cause Dry Eye?

Exposure to certain environmental conditions such as dry, dusty or windy climate with low humidity is one of the main perpetrators for most dry eye sufferers, as arid (dry) air can whisk plenty of moisture from your eyes. Other causes include:

  • Hormonal changes
  • Side effects from medications such as antihistamines, oral contraceptives or antidepressants such as antihistamines, antidepressants, certain blood pressure medicines, Parkinson’s medications and birth control pills.
  • UV exposure and environmental irritants.
  • Skin diseases around the eye and eyelid
  • Meibomian gland dysfunction (common contributor to dry eye)
  • Smoking
  • Allergies
  • Long-term contact lens wear
  • Incomplete closure of the eyelids, eyelid disease and a deficiency of the tear-producing glands are other causes.

Signs and Symptoms of Dry Eye

  • Persistent dryness,
  • Scratchiness
  • Blurred or hazy vision, intermittently
  • A stinging or burning sensation in the eye, even when closed
  • Grittiness in the eye – a “foreign body sensation” – the feeling that something is in the eye
  • Watery eyes – Yes, oddly enough, sometimes dry eye syndrome can cause watery eyes because the excessive dryness works to overstimulate production of the watery component of your eye’s tears.
  • A stringy, sticky discharge from the eye

Please note that these symptoms alone may be enough for your eye doctor to diagnose dry eye syndrome. Sometimes, he or she may want to measure the number of tears in your eyes.

Treatment for Dry Eye

During the examination, the eye doctor will ask you questions about your general health, your use of medications and your home and work environments to determine any factors which may be causing dry eye symptoms.

Our eye Doctor may also perform additional dry eye testing. The use of a high-powered microscope known as a slit lamp, in conjunction with special dyes, will allow your Doctor of Optometry to evaluate the quality, the amount and the distribution of tears to detect signs of dry eyes

After a thorough examination of your eyes, he/she will make a diagnosis and recommend suitable treatment options.

While Dry eye syndrome is an ongoing condition and may not be curable for every patient, the symptoms of dry eye – including dryness, scratchiness, and burning – can usually be successfully managed.

What can you do to get some relief from help dry eye:

  • Drinking more water may offer some relief
  • Remember to blink enough times especially when you have to be on a computer all day.
  • To reduce the effects of sun, wind, and dust on dry eyes, wear sunglasses when outdoors.
  • Special nutritional supplements containing certain essential fatty acids also decrease dry eye symptoms. Please check with our eye Doctor.
  • Humidifier adds moisture to air that’s too dry because of air conditioning or heating.

If you are considering LASIK, be aware that dry eyes may disqualify you from the surgery, at least until your dry eye condition is successfully treated. Dry eyes increase your risk for poor healing after LASIK, so most surgeons will want to treat the dry eyes first, to ensure a good LASIK outcome. This goes for other types of vision correction surgery, as well.

Healthy moisturized eyes are just a phone call away! Please give us a call 403-276-2020 or 403-455-3937. We look forward to hearing from you.