What are the treatment options for dry eye?

Riding on an airplane, looking at a computer screen for hours at a time and even being in an air-conditioned room can lead to an uncomfortable syndrome known as dry eye. If you’ve ever had dry eyes, you know the burning, stinging feeling. Here, we take a look at how dry eye is diagnosed and treated to give you the long-lasting relief you’re seeking.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms usually affect both eyes and may include pain, redness, a stinging, burning or scratchy sensation, mucus in or around the eyes, sensitivity to light, watery eyes or blurred vision. You may find you have difficulty wearing contact lenses or with nighttime driving.

How is it diagnosed?

If you have prolonged symptoms of dry eyes, your eye doctor will do a comprehensive eye exam that includes a complete health history. Tests to measure tear production and the quality of your tears may be performed.

How is dry eye treated?

It’s important to treat your symptoms, because if symptoms aren’t treated, they have potential to cause corneal ulcers or scars or even vision loss. If you have occasional or mild dry eye symptoms, you may only need artificial tears, or over-the-counter eyedrops to treat the syndrome.

Your doctor will recommend other conservative treatments such as deliberately blinking, adding a humidifier at home, avoiding environmental irritants and eliminating medications that could be responsible for dry eye. Prescription medications may be indicated as well, including oral or topical antibiotics to reduce inflammation.

If medications or less-invasive methods are unsuccessful, then surgery may be an option. This may involve treatment of an underlying disease, insertion of punctal plugs to limit tear drainage, or punctal cautery to permanently close the drainage holes.

Dry eye is something that you should take seriously. If conservative measures aren’t helping you with your symptoms, call our Everett office at (425) 259-2020 to set up an appointment to get the treatment you need to prevent damage.

Posted in: Dry Eye

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Physicians Eye Clinic
3930 Hoyt Ave
Everett, WA 98201
Tel: (425) 259-2020

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