What is Dry Eye Syndrome?
Everyone experiences dry, itchy eyes at some point. However, if it lasts for a long time or happens repeatedly, it could be dry eye syndrome. This common condition is due to either an underproduction of tears or lubrication within the tears, which could be caused by a variety of factors, like medications, hormones, medical conditions, and more. Tears are crucial to the overall health of the eyes; therefore, if they malfunction, it can lead to extreme inflammation of the eyes and even decreased vision. Dr. Daxx Dunn, Dr. Marla Weldon, and Dr. Kelly Short provide several treatment options for people not only in Franklin but also in surrounding communities such as Spring Hill, Brentwood, and Nashville, TN, dealing with dry eye syndrome. When you visit Family Vision Care, we will give you a complete eye exam to properly diagnose your dry eye symptoms and pinpoint whether you have an underlying condition. To find out more about getting help for dry eye syndrome, call our Franklin, TN office to schedule your evaluation.
What Are The Symptoms And Causes Of Dry Eye Syndrome?
Symptoms of dry eye syndrome
People with dry eye syndrome commonly have hazy vision and bloodshot, scratchy, and stinging eyes. Many feel like they have sand in their eyes or feel severe discomfort when using contacts. Some individuals with dry eyes also say that their eyes feel heavy and achy. In some cases, they develop light sensitivity and notice limitations with night vision. Despite what the name implies, for some patients, dry eye syndrome can trigger even more tears to attempt to correct the dryness. Dry eye syndrome involves the recurrent combination of several or all of these issues and often causes problems in everyday tasks and activities.
Causes of dry eye syndrome
The leading causes of dry eye syndrome are insufficient tear production or irregular tear makeup. The process of producing human tears has three essential parts, and there are a few types of dry eye syndrome based on which component is being affected. The lacrimal glands produce the liquid tears, the meibomian glands lubricate the tears, and the goblet cells blend them. Dry eye syndrome may appear if any one of these three aspects of tear production becomes unbalanced. Many things can alter these aspects, such as hormonal changes, mobile device use, underlying conditions like diabetes, and some prescription medications.
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"This group of medical professionals offer a friendly atmosphere incorporated with a high degree of professionalism. I have been a patient of Dr. Dunn's for years, and with unusual eye conditions, I feel so thankful that he is my doctor, offering expansive knowledge in this field. My daughter also uses this clinic. As a child with severe headaches, we had seen many specialists, none of whom were able to help her. When she went to this clinic, they determined during a routine eye exam the condition she had, and finally after almost 20 years have been able to rectify the situation. The professionalism, knowledge, care, and compassion for their patients is superb."- S.C. / Google / Apr 14, 2021
How is Dry Eye Syndrome Treated?
The most accurate approach for finding out if you have dry eye is to have a thorough eye exam. Along with reviewing your symptoms, we will examine your medical history to establish any underlying problems leading to your eye issues. This comprehensive eye exam could include gauging the quantity and makeup of the tears you generate and a routine examination of your eyes, eyelids, and corneas. If we diagnose you with dry eye syndrome, we will formulate an individualized treatment plan based on the degree of your case. Your unique dry eye treatment will depend on the underlying cause of your dry eyes. A lot of individuals with mild cases of the condition can ease the symptoms with prescription or nonprescription artificial tears. These solutions can help increase your real tears. If your dry eye syndrome doesn't respond to eye drops, tiny plugs can be put in your tear ducts (called punctal occlusion) to close them off and hold the natural tears in the eye.
Dry Eye Syndrome FAQ
What are some things I can do to help prevent dry eye syndrome?
- Rest your eyes after a long period of screen time
- Use a humidifier
- Avoid areas with a high degree of air circulation
- Avoid cigarette smoke
- Use a warm compress on your eyes
- Supplement your diet with an omega-3 fatty acid
Does dry eye syndrome cause permanent eye damage?
Not typically. Dry eye syndrome can lead to a corneal abrasion or ulcer, but the most immediate risk from dry eye syndrome is eye inflammation and infection.
Could my dry eyes be a symptom of something more serious?
Dry eyes are most commonly a symptom of allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma, thyroid disease, vitamin deficiencies, and aging.
Does drinking more water help prevent dry eyes?
Drinking plenty of water and proper hydration is key to helping your body produce enough tears while also being good for your overall health.
Relieve Your Dry Eyes
Experiencing the symptoms of dry eye syndrome can be annoying and frustrating, but it can also cause a decreased ability to see without treatment. If you have been struggling with symptoms of dry eye, like red, stinging, or watery eyes, and are hoping to find relief, arrange an eye exam at our Franklin, TN facility. Our optometrists at Family Vision Care, Drs. Dunn, Weldon, and Short, frequently diagnose and treat the various aspects of dry eye syndrome.
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