What’s the good news about having dry eyes?

You wake up in the morning with scratchy, watery eyes. Or perhaps your eyes feel dry and irritated by the end of your work day. There are lots of symptoms (including watery eyes) that go along with having chronic dry eyes. Some people have no symptoms at all which is not a good thing...dry eye syndrome compromises your ocular health and vision whether you notice a feeling of dryness or not. Symptoms of this condition range in severity from mildly annoying to debilitating and sight-threatening.

Dry eye syndrome is actually diagnosed as ocular surface disease. It’s a scary sounding name but it is important to understand why it is called this. The cornea and front surface of the eyes need the lubrication and nourishment from a properly functioning tear film. Your tears are much more than water. They comprise an intricate system that maintains the homeostasis of the ocular surface which keeps your vision sharp and your eyes healthy and comfortable. To people who have mild symptoms or none at all, dry eye syndrome may sound pretty innocuous. But if not properly treated, it causes problems over the long run. It can progress to vision loss and debilitating symptoms in some patients.


Dry eye syndrome is actually diagnosed as ocular surface disease. It’s a scary sounding name but it is important to understand why it is called this. The cornea and front surface of the eyes need the lubrication and nourishment from a properly functioning tear film. Your tears are much more than water. They comprise an intricate system that maintains the homeostasis of the ocular surface which keeps your vision sharp and your eyes healthy and comfortable. To people who have mild symptoms or none at all, dry eye syndrome may sound pretty innocuous. But if not properly treated, it causes problems over the long run. It can progress to vision loss and debilitating symptoms in some patients.


How do I know if I have ocular surface disease?

More and more people are suffering from dry eyes due to a plethora of reasons including increased screen use, environmental factors, inflammation, autoimmune disease, use of certain medications, and other factors. If you have this condition, your eye doctor will see the signs during your annual eye exam. Many people with no symptoms are surprised to be diagnosed with dry eye syndrome, but this is good news. The problem can be addressed early to prevent progression and stop symptoms before they start. If you are already experiencing dry, watery, irritated, scratchy, sore, red, or uncomfortable eyes, contact lens intolerance, or fluctuating vision (blur that comes and goes with blinking), then you should certainly make an appointment for a dry eye evaluation with your optometrist.


So what is the good news?

The good news is that there are now a lot of effective treatment options. At Insight, we start with an ocular surface evaluation to diagnose the cause of your condition. The doctor will then formulate a customized treatment plan to address the actual cause of the problem, not just cover up the symptoms. We offer the latest and greatest in dry eye treatments including radiofrequency treatment that has the lovely “side effect” of tightening skin around the eyes and reducing fine lines and wrinkles. Hard to say no to that! If you would like more information on dry eye syndrome, reach out to us. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have.