Did you know that Dry Eye is an actual medical disease?
Yes it is. A common misconception that patients simply “have” dry eyes. But in reality, dry eye syndrome or dry eye disease is a medical condition that needs a diagnosis and a treatment.
Do you have dry eye or do you just think your eyes are dry? Only a qualified eye doctor can diagnosis this condition properly.
Learn About Dry Eyes
The climate in Colorado is one of the most arid and dry climates in the United States. Chronic dry eye is a very common disease in Colorado Springs.
While dry eye is more common in women than men, at Vision Institute we see lots of patients with this condition – both men and women. Many people develop dry eye with age, although most are over 40 years old.
Symptoms of chronic dry eye which include:
- dry feeling eyes
- gritty eyes
- itchy eyes
- painful eyes
Often the symptoms get worse over the course of the day, and are noticeably more severe in the evening while you are reading or watching TV. Being outdoors in windy conditions, which for us in Colorado means almost every day, aggravates the condition.
With each blink of the eyelids, tears are spread across the front surface of the eye, known as the cornea. Tears provide lubrication, reduce the risk of eye infection, wash away foreign matter in the eye, and keep the surface of the eyes smooth and clear. Excess tears in the eyes flow into small drainage ducts, in the inner corners of the eyelids, which drain in the back of the nose.
If you suffer from dry eye, or you are experiencing symptoms of dry eye, we encourage you to make an appointment to be tested for dry eye. There are some very simple treatments for chronic dry eye that can make your life considerable better.
Dry eye and your tears
Dry eye is a condition in which there are insufficient tears to lubricate and nourish the eye.
Your eyes use tears not only for crying, but to lubricate your eyes, and to flush out foreign objects such as dust or stray eyelashes. In order for your eye to function properly, you need an adequate supply of tears with the proper chemical balance inside your tears.
The health of the front surface of your eye depends heavily on the amount and condition of your tears. Your tears contain more than just water – they are comprised of 3 main ingredients – oil, water, and mucus. This allows your tears to spread evenly over the front surface of our eye. The right tears will not evaporate quickly – yet another reason patients develop dry eye conditions.
Dry Eye Diagnosis
The doctors at Vision Institute in Colorado Springs, CO use several methods to properly diagnosis dry eye. After learning your complete patient history and symptoms of dry eye, the doctors examine both the exterior part of the eye lids, as well as the cornea.
Often a bright light is used to look more closely at your cornea – which is a painless procedure. The actual quantity and quality of your tears is also examined and measured to determine if you need treatment for dry eye
Dry Eye Treatments
If your dry eye condition is mild, the only treatment you may need is to simply add more tears in the form of artificial tear eye drops as needed throughout the day. Some patients will need additional treatment because their eyes will not respond to artificial tears alone. There are prescription eye drops, as well as minor surgical procedures that can relieve your dry eye symptoms and make your life much more enjoyable.
Dry Eye Colorado Springs, CO Appointments
With today’s dry eye treatments, there is no need to suffer the annoying and painful symptoms of dry eyes. We encourage you to discuss this with your eye doctors during your next annual eye exam or even schedule an appointment specifically for this if you don’t want to wait for relief.