Dry Eye Can Result in a Variety of Symptoms
Dry eyes are a common problem. The problem worsens in the winter as our heaters pull moisture from the air. If you can shock someone in the wintertime, it's too dry. A humdifier can help decrease the rate at which moisture is pulled from your eyes by dry air. Visually intensive tasks such as working at a computer, driving, or watching TV or a movie can exacerbate the problem. Our blink rate decreases when we perform visually intensive tasks. This results in increased eye drying. Dr. Thompson suggests that you “think to blink.” A “blink break” will help refresh the tear film and reduce eye dryness. Artificial tear eye drops may also be used to supplement the tear film.
Nutritional supplements may also help with dry eye symptoms. Certain vitamins have also been shown to be effective in reducing the progression of age-related macular degeneration. Dr. Thompson can help you determine which supplements may be most appropriate for you.
Dry eyes can be a chronic condition. Treatments vary based on the severity of symptoms and the condition of your ocular surface. Dr. Thompson follows a stepwise approach to tailor treatment based on the cause of the eye dryness. As the tear film is composed of 3 components, the tears, oil, and mucin. A deficiency in any one of these 3 components can result in ocular problems. Treatments can range from artificial tears and ointments, to prescription medicines (like Restasis) and tear duct plugs.
Click on this link to learn more about dry eyes from the Mayo Clinic. An eye examination is the first step toward relieving your symptoms so you can spend less time worried about your eyes and more time focused on your activities.