Dry Eye Treatment
Dry Eye Treatment and Diagnosis
Are you dealing with a persistent stinging or burning sensation in your eyes? You could be suffering from dry eye! Identifying the root cause of your dry eye is crucial to getting the treatment you need to relieve discomfort. At Buckeye Optometry in Marion, OH, our eye care professionals have extensive training and expertise in diagnosing dry eye and dry eye treatment.
What is dry eye?
Dry eye, also known as dry eye syndrome, is a common condition that occurs when your eyes don’t produce enough tears or when the tears are poor quality. Your tears help keep your eyes healthy by providing essential nutrients, keeping your eyes lubricated, and preventing infections, which is why diagnosing dry eye is crucial to maintaining optimal health!
During a comprehensive eye exam, our eye doctor will check for signs of dry eye and rule out other conditions that could be causing your symptoms. Dry eye syndrome and allergies have similar symptoms, which is why dry eye is often misdiagnosed. Only a qualified eye care professional, like the doctors at Buckeye Optometry, can diagnose dry eye disease properly and ensure you’re getting the right treatment for your particular case.
What causes dry eye?
Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is the most common cause of dry eye syndrome. The meibomian glands are tiny glands in the eyelids that secrete oils that coat the surface of the eye and keep tears from evaporating. When these glands get clogged or blocked, the tears evaporate too quickly, leading to dry eyes.
Other causes of dry eye include:
- Hormonal changes caused by pregnancy, use of oral contraceptives, and menopause
- Certain medications, such as antihistamines, decongestants, and antidepressants
- Certain diseases and conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome, arthritis, diabetes, or thyroid problems
- Blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids)
- Contact lens wear
- Previous eye surgery or injury
- Exposure to wind, smoke, air conditioning, and dry air
- Blinking less often during activities like driving, reading, computer use, or watching TV
What are the symptoms of dry eye?
The most obvious symptom of dry eye syndrome is a burning sensation in the eyes. Other symptoms include:
- Stinging or itching eyes
- A scratchy or sandy feeling in your eyes
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Eye pain or redness
- Stringy mucus or discharge from your eyes
- Fluctuating vision
If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to make an appointment with your optometrist immediately.
How is dry eye diagnosed?
During a comprehensive eye exam at Buckeye Optometry, our eye doctor will conduct a series of tests to diagnose dry eye syndrome, including evaluating your tear quality, volume, evaporation rate, and chemical composition. Based on the results of the exam, they will then develop a treatment plan customized to your specific case and symptoms.
How do you treat dry eye syndrome?
Dry eye treatment depends on the severity and underlying cause of the condition. In mild cases, treatment often includes artificial tears or other lubricating drops that can be purchased over the counter. In more severe cases, surgery or therapy may be necessary.
Here are some common ways to treat dry eye syndrome:
- Prescription eye drops to reduce inflammation
- Using Bruder Mask™ heated eye compresses for moist heat therapy
- Punctal plugs (tiny plugs inserted painlessly into the tear ducts to slow down tear drainage)
- Blinking exercises or proper eyelid hygiene
- Lifestyle changes such as reducing screen time or using a humidifier in dry environments
It’s important to consult with your eye doctor to determine the best treatment plan for your dry eye syndrome.
Schedule an appointment at Buckeye Optometry
With our advanced diagnostic technology, the experts at Buckeye Optometry will determine the cause of your dry eye and develop a treatment plan to fit your unique needs. Let us help you improve your quality of life and relieve discomfort. Schedule an appointment at our office in Marion today.