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What is Dry Eye Disease?

Do your eyes feel irritated, gritty, or like something is always in them? Do you experience redness, burning, excessive tearing, or occasional blurry vision? If so, you may have Dry Eye disease, a common condition where your eyes do not produce enough tears. Sometimes, the only symptom of dry eye is recurring blurred vision. Unfortunately, Dry eye disease won’t heal without proper treatment and the effects go beyond discomfort. Dry eye disease can result in chronic corneal inflammation, which is swelling of the eye’s transparent surface, an unhealthy condition for your eyes. If you have symptoms like dry, red, gritty-feeling eyes, our ophthalmologists are ready to help!

After a comprehensive vision exam to assess your eye health, our Fayetteville eye doctor can prescribe prescription eye drops or recommend a variety of other treatment options. Proper treatment of your dry eyes will relieve discomfort and help protect your eyes from further damage.

Dry Eye Symptoms

  • Blurred vision
  • Chronically red eyes, especially in the morning upon waking
  • The feeling that you have a foreign object in the eye
  • Gritty eyes
  • Stinging eyes
  • Eye pain
  • Periods of excessive tearing
  • Inability to wear your current contact lenses (Dry eye sufferers need specialty contacts.)
  • Difficulty using a computer, mobile device, or reading for extended periods

What Causes Dry Eyes?

Our ophthalmologists will perform an eye exam to determine the cause(s) of your dry eye condition, which could be due to:

  • Allergy
  • Chronically swollen tear glands/tear ducts and/or conjunctiva (inside lining of your eyelids)
  • Cosmetic eye surgery (eye lift, eyelid surgery)
  • LASIK or other refractive eye surgery
  • Airborne contaminants like smoke or irritating debris
  • Drafts from A/C or heating systems, wind
  • HRT (hormone replacement therapy)
  • Thyroid disease
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Medication side effects (antihistamines, blood pressure medicine, nasal decongestant products, Parkinson’s medications, tranquilizers and more)
  • Staring, without blinking, at a computer screen
  • Vitamin A deficiency
  • Pregnancy
  • And more

Lifestyle Adjustments to Help Dry Eyes

  • There are small lifestyle adjustments that you can do to help dry eyes. Our doctors suggest using an indoor air cleaner and humidifier, and/or adding an air filter to your A/C system. You should also rest your eyes occasionally when using the computer or reading and you can try non-prescription artificial tears for temporary relief.

Dry Eye Treatments from Our Eye Doctors in Clinton and Fayetteville

When Dry Eye symptoms are more serious and persistent, our ophthalmologists may prescribe you or advise you to:

  • Special lid cleaning wipes, treatments, or antibiotics may be recommended if infection, inflammation of the eyelids, or clogged oil glands contribute to your dry eye.
  • Anti-inflammatory eye drop to help your eyes produce more quality tears by reducing inflammation, which is oftentimes a cause of dry eye.
  • Tear duct plugs (keep tears/natural moisture in your eyes)
  • Try new medication options (to eliminate side effects) and properly manage systemic diseases like diabetes, lupus or thyroid disease
  • Switch to different type of contacts
  • Dietary changes such as adding omega-3s and drinking more water.

Our Ophthalmology Practice Specializes in Dry Eyes and Eye Health

Don’t ignore dry eye symptoms for one more day. Get proper dry eye treatment for greater comfort and improved eye health. Contact our Fayetteville Ophthalmologist at Carolina Vision Center. Call 910-485-3937 today.

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