Coming Soon: Dry Eye Clinic
Burning. Stinging. Itching. Uncomfortable contact lenses. Fluctuating vision. Tired eyes at the end of the day. Or even…watering eyes? Sound familiar?
You may one of the 5 million Americans that suffer from dry eye.
Dry eye syndrome refers to either a breakdown in the quantity or quality of the tears that moisten the front surface of the eye. This is important because, with each blink, these same tears protect the eyes by washing away debris and microorganisms that can cause problems. As areas of the tear film dry up, the eye is left feeling “gritty” or “burning”, which can cause sensitivity to light. In some cases, the nerves on the front part of the eye sense this dryness, and they send a signal to the lacrimal gland, which produces the water part of the tears. The lacrimal gland then produces a surplus of tears with less than ideal quality, which causes the eyes to water! If this cycle can’t keep up, the eyes return to feeling “sandy” and uncomfortable.
This nasty cycle of watering and dryness (or dryness alone) causes a disruption in what should be a smooth tear film. And the result? Blurred vision — it’s like looking through a fog!
Blurred vision as a result of dry eye is one driving force that brings patients in for an eye exam. What some people think is a change in their glasses prescription may actually be dry eye!
So, what can we do about dry eye?
Like many areas in the medical field, dry eye treatment has changed drastically in the last decade. At this time, we have a plethora of treatments available to patients, and what works for one person may not work for another. You may be asking why is this? Shouldn’t dry eye be like dry skin? Just add something to lubricate it!
Not so fast…
Dry eye is just one red flag to a much larger problem. Are you not producing enough tears? Or do you have enough tears, but they evaporate too quickly? Why would this be the case?
Hence, the introduction of our Dry Eye Clinic at David A. Fullenkamp, OD, PC, Family Optometry. Our goal is to not only discover what treatment will work best for you, but to determine what exactly is causing your dry eye! Again, this answer is not the same for every patient.
So, as a potential dry eye sufferer, what should your next steps be?
Make an appointment. The only way to truly discover the root cause of your dry eye, and, most importantly, keep it from getting worse, is to visit us for a full evaluation.
Need something to get you by until then? Visit us in store or browse our catalog online to see what we offer for artificial tears (lubricating drops).