More than 30 million Americans experience dry eye symptoms. In Colorado, Dry Eye Syndrome is especially common and severe due to the low humidity and high altitude. Vision Institute has been selected to conduct our seventh dry eye research study to better serve the residents of Colorado. If you have dry eye syndrome, you may experience the following symptoms: itching, burning, scratching, watering, redness, blurred vision, foreign body sensation, and stickiness upon awakening.
There are three layers in the tear film. The top, oily layer serves to prevent evaporation. The middle layer is a watery layer which keeps our eyes moist and contains nutrients and germ-fighting agents. Underneath the mucous layer promotes coating and tear adhesion. When one of these layers fails to function properly, Dry Eye Syndrome can result.
In order to battle Dry Eye Syndrome, the first step is diagnosis since some symptoms are confusing. We often hear the question, “How can my eyes be dry when they are watering?" When the eye is dry, the brain signals to flood it with tears to make up for the deficit. In order to treat this condition, you must increase lubrication in the eyes, just as you do to treat other dry eye symptoms.
We can increase lubrication by putting tiny plugs in the puncta (punctal plugs). This allows the tears we make to stay on our eyes instead of evaporating through the puncta. We can decrease inflammation in our tears by wearing moisture chamber goggles, drinking more fluids, monitoring medications for drying effects, and ensuring our eyelids are appropriately cleaned.
Treatment for Dry Eye Syndrome is available. You do not have to suffer from discomfort when you can speak to an eye care professional for assistance.
At Vision Institute in Colorado Springs, our eye doctors can help you if you are experiencing dry eyes.