Do You Have Dry Eye Syndrome? Signs to Look For

Brill_Dry_Eye_Syndrome.jpgEveryone experiences dry eyes occasionally. But if your eyes bother you on a regular basis, you may have dry eye syndrome. While over-the-counter (OTC) eye drops might lubricate your eyes for a few minutes, they only temporarily alleviate  the symptoms but don’t address the real problem.

Your symptoms will most likely continue no matter how often you use these drops. At Brill Eye Center, we specialize in diagnosing and treating dry eye syndrome and associated meibomian oil gland dysfunction.

Symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome

Anyone can experience blurry and dry eyes after staring  at a computer screen for 8 hours straight. If your eyes bother you for seemingly no reason, you need to come visit us so we can make a diagnosis and offer effective solutions to your problem.

    • Dryness
    • Eye Fatigue
    • Pain and Redness
    • Itchy or Watery eyes
    • Inflammation
    • Sensitivity to Light
    • Blurred Vision
    • Stinging or Burning Sensation
    • Sandy or Gritty Feeling
    • Stringy Discharge from the Eye
    • Irritation When Wearing Contact Lenses
    • Sensation of Heavy Eyelids
  • Visual Difficulty While Reading, Computer Work, Watching Television

Untreated Dry Eye Can Lead to Serious Eye Problems

If your eyes don’t produce an adequate amount of the watery aqueous layer of tears, your eyes will feel dry. If your tears do not have enough of the meibomian gland oily layer, your tears will evaporate and make your eyes feel dry. The correct tearfilm balance is important in order to prevent inflammation associated with having a dry eye.  A properly balanced tearfilm mix between the watery and oily layers normally protects the eye and provides clear vision. Without this protective tearfilm coating, the soft tissue of the cornea will get inflamed and vision will deteriorate. Dry eye conditions left untreated just get worse over time because the problem is chronic and progressive. If the meibomian oil glands are not functioning, they will atrophy, following the “use it or lose it” principle of how muscles will waste away if not used. This is followed by inflammation that can lead to pain, ulcers, or scars on the cornea, and permanent loss of vision.

We Treat the Cause, Not Just the Symptoms

At Brill Eye Center, we know there can be various causes for dry eyes. We regularly see patients with aqueous tear-deficient dry eye which is caused when the lacrimal glands don’t produce enough of the watery component of tears to maintain a healthy eye surface. We also see evaporative dry eye, which is caused by inflammation of the meibomian glands which causes them to no longer function. These oil glands make the lipids (oily part of your tears) that slow the evaporation of your tears. While most people have thought that dry eye means you need more water in your tears, it turns out that is true only 14% of the time.  86% of the time, it’s the oil glands that are blocked or missing. If they are just blocked, we have a 12 minute procedure called LipiFlow that can re-open the oil glands to restore normal function and get to the root cause of your dry eye almost immediately. If they are missing, the problem becomes even more urgent to treat as soon as possible.

No matter what is causing your discomfort, it’s always best to get a professional diagnosis and the correct treatment. We can diagnose the problem and discuss your options so you don’t have to live with this condition indefinitely. Hopefully, you will be a candidate for the spa-like LipiFlow Thermal Pulsation treatment to get immediate relief.