Dry eyes are one of the most common problems that affect our patients at EyeTech Optometry. High altitude, dry air, and cold temperatures all contribute to dry eyes. Other systemic health conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Sjogren's Syndrome, thyroid dysfunction and other inflammatory conditions may also contribute to dry eye. Dry eyes are more common in women compared to men by a 4:1 ratio and often worsen with age. The most common signs of dry eyes are transient blurry vision that improves with blinking, burning, stinging, the feeling that something is in your eye, significant abrupt tearing and mild redness that is worse later in the day.
Contact Lens Dry Eye
Patients who wear contact lenses may also experience discomfort with their contacts leading to reduced wear time. Active focusing tasks such as extended computer work or reading also cause the eyes to become dry secondary to reduced blink rate. We normally blink 20-22 times per minutes, but when working on the computer or reading we blink approximately half as much causing the eyes to become dry.
A full examination of the cornea and anterior segment along with your symptoms helps our doctors to determine the type of dry eye you may be suffering from. Proper diagnosis aids in starting the appropriate treatment. Our eye doctors will often use sodium flourescein dye during the exam which temporarily stains the front surface of the eye to better detect areas that are dry. This dye is inert and painless and also allows the doctor to measure how quickly your tears are evaporating.
Some types of dryness may be temporary and fully resolve with treatment, while others are chronic and require daily, routine, treatment to limit signs and symptoms. Treatment for dry eyes can vary widely based on the underlying cause. First line treatment often consists of over-the-counter artificial tears, warm compress and other supplements. However, prescription medications may be necessary in some cases.
If you feel you may be suffering from dry eye you may schedule an eye health exam or full routine exam to discuss potential treatment options with Dr. Ward or Dr. Philpy.
Dr. Ward and Dr Philpy regularly diagnose and treat eye injuries, infections, inflammations, burning, redness, pain, sensitivity, pink eye and remove foreign bodies from the eye.
Our doctors can treat, prescribe medication for and manage many different eye diseases like glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.
Diagnosis and Referral
For eye conditions like cataracts, retinal tears and retinal detachments that may require surgical or specialized care, our Optometrists provide initial diagnosis as well as referral, co-management and follow-up care in coordination with an Ophthalmologist.
Many eye problems like glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy don't have obvious symptoms in their early stages. Changes in vision are often so gradual that you unconsciously adjust to your sight without realizing your vision has changed. You may think you are seeing as well as you were a year ago and don’t have problems, but you can't be sure until you've had your eyes thoroughly examined.