Dry eye is a common condition, whether it’s temporary or chronic. Dry eye syndrome may go unnoticed for some time.
You may even dismiss your symptoms as allergies or discomfort from wearing contacts. But if you experience symptoms of dry eyes like itchiness, feeling like there’s something in your eye, burning, redness, and irritation, you should seek diagnosis and treatment. Keep reading to find out why you should consider treatment for your dry eyes!
Dry eyes can lead to more than discomfort. Left untreated, chronic dry eye can lead to a variety of problems.
You may find that you can’t wear contacts, you have trouble reading or driving, and experience frequent headaches. Having enough moisture on the surface of your eyes is what keeps them healthy.
When they aren’t getting enough moisture, it puts you at risk for infection. Conjunctivitis is common in dry eye patients as the eye becomes red and inflamed.
It can grow more severe the drier your eyes get. You can also develop a corneal ulcer. This is painful and guaranteed to spread and scar without diagnosis and antibiotic treatment.
Avoiding all these complications is often a simple matter. See an eye care professional and have your dry eyes diagnosed and treated.
When diagnosed with dry eye, most eye doctors will first suggest non-invasive treatments. Most of these treatments are simple lifestyle changes.
If you live in a dry environment, you may only need a humidifier. You may need to drink more water to stay hydrated.
You may not be getting enough omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. These are important nutrients for tear production.
Eating more fish, nuts, and seeds can help increase the amount of omega-3 fatty acids you eat. You can also take fish oil or flaxseed oil supplements.
These are all things your eye doctor is likely to suggest before recommending other treatment options. They may also recommend using over-the-counter artificial tears for more immediate relief.
If these aren’t effective enough, or what’s causing your dry eyes isn’t addressed, there are other options.
Minimally-Invasive Treatment Options
If environmental and lifestyle changes aren’t effective, your doctor may recommend prescriptions. In severe cases, you can have a minimally invasive procedure to implant punctal plugs.
The plugs block off a drainage channel from the surface of the eye. This forces your tears to stay on the surface of the eye longer.
When all else fails, punctal plugs often provide relief. If your dry eye is the result of rosacea, there’s another treatment method that can provide relief.
This treatment, called Optima IPL, is a light-based treatment that treats abnormal blood vessel growth. It reduces the source of inflammation.
New England Eye Center is proud to offer this treatment for patients struggling with these common conditions. No matter the source of your dry eye, seeking treatment is the best solution.
Once diagnosed, your doctor can find a treatment, or combination of treatments, that are right for you. Most treatment options are simple changes or minimally-invasive procedures. These are well worth the time and effort to have healthy eyes again.
Can’t figure out why your eyes are so dry? Schedule an appointment at New England Eye Center in Boston, MA now!