Millions of people around the world are suffering from dry eyes. If you are one of the people who feel like there is sand stuck in them, this article is for you. This article will cover the causes and highlight ways an optometrist can help you manage your condition with various treatment options.
Dry eye disease is an eye condition that causes the eyes to feel uncomfortable or even painful when using them. The symptoms of dry eyes are usually mild but can be uncomfortable. The causes of dry eyes are many and may include infections such as conjunctivitis, inflammation, or other eye diseases like glaucoma.
Dry eye occurs when you don’t make enough tears or they evaporate too quickly for your eyes to stay healthy. The decreased tear production can happen because of certain outer-eye treatments like LASIK surgery, birth control pills, or Sjögren’s syndrome. Increased tear evaporation can be the result of dry weather conditions, air conditioning, and heating systems, extended computer use, or contact lens wear.
So how can an eye doctor help you get control of this situation?
Diagnosis of dry eyes
Before optometrists can provide help with any treatment for mechanical dry eyes, they need to diagnose the patient to understand what’s wrong with the eyes. They may use a technique called the Schirmer test. Schirmer’s test is a very simple, quick, and reliable method of diagnosing the degree of dryness of the eyes.
First, the doctor will take a small strip of paper and place it under your lower eyelid. This process may cause mild discomfort and pressure for a few seconds. The paper strip should not be allowed to touch the eye or eyelashes.
To check if the eyes are producing enough tears, you will be asked to look at a point in the distance while the doctor watches your eye from above. The paper strip that was previously placed on the lower eyelid should be removed after 5 minutes.
If there are less than five millimeters of wetting of the strip, it means that your eyes are dry. Schirmer’s test is advised to be done in both eyes. Please inform the doctor if you have undergone any previous eye surgery or trauma as this can affect the results of the test. A normal result is when the paper strip is completely wet after 5 minutes.
Approved treatment options
Once mechanical dry eyes are diagnosed, doctors can start planning treatment plans involving artificial tears, artificial tear drops, lubricants, topical drops that contain anti-inflammatory drugs, and other types of drugs. Laser eye surgery may be an option for patients who have severely dry eyes or have tried other methods with little success.
Enhancing the blood circulation and water lubrication of the eyes
Some of the most common medications that optometrists use to treat various eye conditions are anti-inflammatory. They help reduce redness and swelling of the eyes, thus promoting the healthy function of the eyes.
They can also combine a topical anti-inflammatory drug and a steroid drug to reduce inflammation and improve blood circulation. An optometrist may also use a Prokera cryopreserved amniotic membrane to reduce any inflammation and allow the eye to heal itself.
Stopping or easing pain associated with dry eyes
A pain relief option for dry eyes effectively reduces the level of discomfort associated with mechanical dry eye disease. Some over-the-counter pain medications can help relieve dry eye symptoms and decrease the level of pain felt by patients with mechanical dry eyes. They may also help ease the discomfort that comes with itching and burning and with swelling and redness.
Improving the quality of life for patients with dry eyes
Since dry eyes can also reduce the quality of life for patients, optometrists need to help their patients live healthy and happy life. Because pain relief options can be so helpful in alleviating mechanical dry eye symptoms, optometrists will encourage and recommend some pain relief medications that their patients can use to relieve discomfort and any issues associated with dry eyes.
Moreover, they will recommend lubricants and artificial tears that can help keep their eyes healthy and lubricated, thus reducing the discomfort associated with dry eyes.
Preventing dry eye disease from getting worse
Finally, one of the primary goals of eye doctors is to help their patients prevent mechanical dry eyes and their symptoms from getting worse. So, they will encourage and recommend using artificial teardrops and lubricants that can be used at least several times a day to keep the patient’s eyes lubricated and comfortable.
Optometrists can help their patients with mechanical dry eyes because they understand the condition and know how it affects their quality of life. They also know that many people don’t even realize they have dry eyes because the symptoms are not severe enough to make them learn something is wrong.
So, patients who have mechanical dry eyes will benefit from optometrists’ treatment plans because these treatments work well in reducing the discomfort associated with the condition.
Dry eye disease can be pretty troublesome for patients who experience it. The pain that sometimes comes with mechanical dry eyes can be serious and may cause headaches and other vision problems that make it very hard for them to enjoy their daily lives. Because of this, the patients need to see an eye doctor as soon as possible.
An optometrist’s job is to discover mechanical dry eye, determine what kind of dry eye it is and help patients find the best treatment option available to keep their eyes healthy. Because mechanical dry eye disease can be pretty uncomfortable, getting treated for it as soon as possible is very important.
By getting treated, the symptoms of this condition can be minimized and controlled so that patients will enjoy their lives. If you want to learn more about this condition and how it affects you, visit an eye doctor today. Visit www.DiscoverMDE.com to learn more.