Symptoms of Dry Eye
Without a sufficient amount of tears, or tears with an improper balance of water, mucous and oil, the protective film on your eyes can break down and result in dry spots on the ocular surface. If you have CDE, you may experience:
- A burning or stinging sensation in your eye
- The feeling that you have something in your eye
- Alternating between an excess of tears and extremely dry eyes
- A discharge from the eye
- Redness or pain in the eye
- Periodic blurry vision
- Discomfort when wearing contact lenses
- Difficulty reading, performing computer work, and other similar tasks
- Eye fatigue
How is Chronic Dry Eye Diagnosed?
To diagnose CDE, we will conduct a thorough examination of your eyes. We will evaluate your medical history to rule out any medical conditions or medications that could cause your dry eyes. We will also discuss your lifestyle and living and working conditions to determine if an environmental factor is the cause. We will then examine the eye itself, including the eyelids and cornea. We will also measure both the quantity and quality of tears you produce. This exam can help determine if you suffer from CDE, and how to address it.
What are My Treatment Options?
We offer treatment options that range from conservative to more aggressive. In some cases, we may prescribe a combination of treatments to successfully manage your CDE. Prescription eye drops and a vitamin supplement is usually the first line of treatment. We may also recommend that you apply warm compresses or pads to help open your oil glands. If our more conservative efforts prove ineffective, we can utilize BlephEX, which is a tool that helps open plugged glands in the eyelid. As a last resort, we can surgically place punctual plugs, which close the tear ducts and help prevent tears from draining too soon.