5 Common Signs of Dry Eyes

5 Common Signs of Dry Eyes

​​According to the American Optometric Association, up to 49 million Americans suffer from dry eyes. At our offices in Kennesaw and Marietta, Georgia, expert optometrists Mital Patel, OD, Mark Machen, OD, and Ashley Swalla, OD at Classic Vision Care diagnose and treat such issues as dry eyes before they progress to more serious conditions.

How dry is too dry?

We all endure an occasional bout of dry eyes on a hot summer day. However, when dry eyes occur on a regular basis, outside of such situations as flying in a dry airplane cabin or walking on a windy day, it’s time for a professional eye exam.

Common symptoms of dry eyes

Symptoms of dry eyes include:

1. Redness

Dryness expands blood vessels within your eyes, making them appear more bloodshot.

2. Light sensitivity

Sensitivity to light may increase with dryness. 

3. Blurred vision

Dry eyes can affect your overall eyesight, increasing blurriness and/or night blindness.

4. Fatigue

If you feel more eye fatigue than usual, this could be due to dry eyes.

5. Itching

As tempting as it may be to scratch your eyes when they feel especially dry and itchy, it’s better to use artificial tears to avoid additional harm.

Our optometrists address these and other issues, such as difficulty wearing traditional contact lenses or watery eyes due to tear duct blockages, by examining your eyes for dry eye disease. Untreated, this condition can lead to more serious problems from vision damage to corneal abrasions. 

Why so dry?

Dry eyes arise for a variety of reasons, ranging from aging to autoimmune diseases, such as Sjogren's syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Chronic dry eyes from allergies, medications, dehydration and computer use can often be corrected through certain modifications, including:

Other simple fixes, from drinking more water to ease dehydration, adding fish oil or omega-3 rich foods, such as fatty fish or flax seeds, to your diet, or moistening indoor air with a humidifier, may also help. We can also switch your standard contact lenses to glasses or special contacts created to reduce dry eyes. 

Medical options to treat dry eyes

We also provide a range of medical methods to relieve dry eyes, including: 

Artificial tears or ointments

These keep your eyes in tip-top shape, even while you sleep.

Lipiflow device

Your eyelids contain glands that put oil into your tears. Lipiflow employs heat and pressure to unclog blocked eyelid glands, easing dryness.

Punctal occlusion

Applying heat to block tear ducts regulates tear flow from your eyes to your nose, retaining additional moisture within your eyes.

Non-dissolving punctal plugs

We may also prescribe temporary, removable plugs to block tears from exiting your eyes.

If your condition is due to a lack of testosterone within your eyelid’s oil glands, applying testosterone cream to your eyelids may help your oil glands perform better.

Avoid further complications

Left untreated, dry eyes can lead to more serious conditions, such as inflammatory conjunctivitis, which causes discomfort, redness or light sensitivity, and corneal ulcers, open sores on your cornea that grow more inflamed by dryness.

If your eyes don’t produce enough tears, look no further than our knowledgeable team at Classic Vision Care for help. Call us or book an appointment online today.  

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