Dry Eye Management in Birmingham, AL

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WHAT IS Dry Eye Syndrome?

All of us will experience dry, itchy eyes at one time or another, but if it continues for a long time or occurs regularly, you might have dry eye syndrome. This quite common eye condition is caused by either a lack of tears or irregular tear makeup, which can be caused by an underlying illness, certain medications, or behavioral factors. Tears are vital to the general health of the eyes, and that's why if they don't work properly, it can result in severe irritation of the eyes and even hazy vision. Dry eye syndrome is typically caused by an underlying illness, and as soon as this underlying illness is diagnosed and managed, the dry eye symptoms can be significantly reduced. At inVision Ophthalmology Birmingham in Birmingham, AL, our skilled team offers several treatment options for patients experiencing dry eye syndrome. They will perform a detailed eye exam to accurately identify your dry eye symptoms and determine whether you have an underlying condition.

What Causes Dry Eye Syndrome?

Generally speaking, dry eye syndrome can develop when the eyes do not produce enough quality tears to keep them adequately lubricated, which may be due to a number of variables and/or underlying conditions. Some of the potential factors and causes of dry eye syndrome may include:

  • Aging
  • Environmental factors (wind, dust, allergens, etc.)
  • Certain medications
  • Certain medical conditions
  • Hormonal changes
  • Excessive screen time
  • Incomplete blinking
  • Contact lenses
  • Insufficient blinking

Symptoms of DRY EYE syndrome

People who suffer from dry eye syndrome commonly experience hazy vision and bloodshot, itchy, stinging eyes. A lot of patients feel a sensation of grittiness in their eyes or feel pain when inserting contacts. Numerous individuals with dry eyes also notice that their eyeballs feel heavy and sore. Occasionally, they develop light sensitivity and notice limitations with night vision. Contrary to what the name implies, dry eye syndrome can, for some patients, trigger an overproduction of tears to offset the condition. Dry eye syndrome involves the recurrent combination of multiple or all of these symptoms and usually causes frustrations in everyday tasks and hobbies.

How to Diagnose Dry Eye Syndrome

The most thorough approach for diagnosing dry eye syndrome is to receive a comprehensive eye exam. Along with your symptoms, Dr. Choi will examine any past or current conditions to search for any underlying problems leading to your dry eyes. Your complete eye exam could include measuring the amount and makeup of the tears you generate, as well as a routine examination of your eyelids, eyes, and corneas using very small light and mirrored lenses. If Dr. Choi does conclude that you have dry eye syndrome, he will create a personalized treatment plan based on the details surrounding your condition.

How Is Dry Eye Syndrome Treated?

Your unique dry eye treatment will depend on the underlying reason behind your dry eyes. After a comprehensive exam and consultation, our team at inVision Ophthalmology Birmingham can decide which treatment should be best for your specific needs. Many people with mild cases of dry eye can ease the symptoms with prescription or drugstore eye drops. These solutions can complement your real tears. If your condition is more severe, special plugs can be inserted in your tear ducts (called punctal occlusion) to block them and keep the natural tears in the eye.

Dry Eye Syndrome FAQ

What are some ways to help with dry eye syndrome?

There are a few tips you can use to help with dry eyes, including:

  • Resting your eyes after a long period of screen time
  • Use a humidifier in dry climates or the winter
  • Avoid places with a high degree of air circulation
  • Avoid cigarette smoke
  • Put a warm compress on your eyes
  • Add an omega-3 fatty acid supplement to your diet

Can dry eye syndrome cause permanent eye damage?

While dry eyes can lead to abrasion of the corneal surface or corneal ulcers, a more immediate concern is the fact that dry eyes may increase your risk of eye infection and inflammation.

Are dry eyes a symptom of something more serious?

Dry eyes may be a symptom of something other than dry eye syndrome, including allergic eye disease, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Sjogren’s syndrome, scleroderma, thyroid disorders, a vitamin A deficiency, the natural aging process, and more.

Can drinking more water help with dry eyes?

Staying properly hydrated by drinking plenty of water is a way to help your body produce a healthier volume of tears, in addition to being good for your overall health. If you try various methods of treating your dry eyes without success, you should consider visiting inVision Ophthalmology Birmingham for an eye exam.

Relieve Your Dry Eye Today

Dealing with dry eye syndrome can be incredibly frustrating and debilitating, but it can also result in vision impairment if not treated properly. If you have been struggling with dry eye symptoms and trying to treat them with over-the-counter medications, plan an exam at our Birmingham, AL facility. The great group of eye care professionals at inVision Ophthalmology Birmingham frequently diagnose and manage the various types of dry eye syndrome.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.