Dry eyes or dry eye syndrome (DES) is a chronic condition that includes symptoms of dryness, scratchiness, burning and even blurred vision. Dry eye is very common in west Texas, where we are exposed to sun, wind and environmental allergies. Artificial tears, which are lubricating eyedrops, may alleviate the dry, scratching feeling and foreign body sensation of dry eye, but are not always enough for long-term treatment. We can evaluate your severity and determine which treatment may work best for you.
Check with your doctor before buying any over-the-counter eye drops. Many over the counter eye drops have harsh preservatives or chemicals that can be toxic to the cornea. To reduce the effects of sun, wind and dust on dry eyes, wear sunglasses when outdoors. Wraparound styles offer the best protection. Treating any underlying eyelid disease, such as blepharitis, helps as well. This may call for antibiotic or steroid drops and eyelid scrubs.
For more significant cases of dry eye, our doctors may recommend punctual plugs. These tiny devices are inserted in ducts in your lids to slow the drainage of tears away from your eyes, thereby keeping your eyes more moist. They cause no discomfort, take about 10 minutes to insert and alleviate dry eye immediately. Other options include prescription eye drops that will cause an increase in tear production to cure the symptoms and blurred vision associated with Dry Eye. In severe cases, we often utilize an amniotic membranes, a revolutionary new option for corneal healing that is very safe and effective.
If you feel you may suffer from dry eye, please contact our office for an evaluation!