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How Do I Know If I Have Dry Eye and What Are My Options?

Posted on March 26, 2018

By: Dr. Paul Casey, Nevada Eye Care, an NVISION Company

Dry Eye, one of the most common eye conditions treated by physicians, is an irritating and sometimes painful condition in which the eye fails to properly produce enough or quality tears that lubricates the eyes. If left untreated, it can lead to ulcers, scars on the cornea, and even impairment of vision.

People who are at risk or suffer from dry eye often include those who:

  • Wear contact lenses, especially for prolonged periods of time
  • Are taking medications such as antihistamines or birth control pills
  • Are over 50, especially women going through menopause
  • Have specific diseases such as Sjogren’s Syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis and collagen vascular disease
  • Have eyelids that don’t close properly due to structural abnormalities
  • Live in dry climates (like here in Las Vegas!)

Dry eye syndrome is particularly prevalent in desert climates like ours here in Las Vegas, Nevada. Other signs and symptoms which usually affect both eyes may include:

  • Pain
  • Sensitivity to light
  • A feeling of a foreign body or sand in the eye (gritty)
  • Itching
  • Stinging
  • Irritation
  • Redness
  • Blurring of vision
  • Eye fatigue after short periods of reading
  • Periods of excessive tearing

If you suffer from dry eye, there’s good news- relief is possible! NVISION® provides a variety of treatment options to relieve dry eye and the best course of action is to book a dry eye evaluation at a center near you. If you’re near the Las Vegas area, I hope to see you!

Typically, the first line of treatment for dry eye syndrome is usually lubrication with artificial tears. If artificial tears are applied more than four times per day, greater treatment may be necessary.

For more advanced dryness, prescription anti-inflammatory therapy can actually increase tear production. Prescription dry eye treatment has been shown to improve the symptoms of dry eye, as well as reduce the ongoing microscopic damage from this condition.

Eye doctors also often recommend closure of the tear drainage system to increase the volume of the tear film. Closure is accomplished with a small plug, which fits comfortably into the tear drainage system. Placement of these punctal plugs is a quick and painless office procedure.

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