Dry Eye Disease: When Your Eye Drops Aren’t Enough
When you hear “dry eyes,” what do you think of? We’ve all been out on a windy day and had some dust get in our eye. You blink a few times, wipe it out, maybe experience a little sensitivity, no big deal. This fairly common experience leads many to underestimate the effect Dry Eye Disease (DED) can have on someone’s entire life.
The truth is, Dry Eye Disease can be devastating.
DED is a progressive condition, which means it will continuously worsen without treatment, and the number of patients reporting symptoms is growing quickly. Ophthalmology practices in arid climates, like Center For Sight, are seeing more and more people concerned about their dry eyes.
Dry Eye Disease comes in many forms – from asymptomatic to debilitating – so it’s crucial that patients and ophthalmologists work together to understand the condition better.
Is It Dry Eye Disease or Just "Dry Eyes"?
The difference between a short episode of dry eye and Dry Eye Disease is in tear quality. Those with healthy tears can wash away irritants and rehydrate their eyes over time. On the other hand, those with Dry Eye Disease have tears that are ineffective at lubricating the eye.
While many factors can contribute to changes in tear quality, one of the most common causes is Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD). Patients with MGD have clogged tear glands that deprive tears of their oily base. And without oil, tears can never truly do their job.
Imagine it’s a particularly dry day, and you’re already feeling a little itchy-scratchy in the eyes when a gust of wind rudely deposits some dust and dirt right in your peepers. This annoying little scenario is something people with DED face every day! When your eyes are already dry, any small irritation is enough to really devastate your eyes.
Poor-quality tears make it nearly impossible for those with DED to deal with classic dry eye triggers such as allergens, screen use, aging and arid weather. This creates a cycle of aching eyes that never entirely clear themselves of irritants. And that is what truly distinguishes DED from a simple dry eye annoyance.
But How Bad is Dry Eye Disease, Really?
Dry Eye Disease isn’t the minor condition we might assume it is, but how bad is it really? People with severe DED have described it as intense burning, a constant feeling of sand in their eyes or paper cuts all over their eyes (ouch!). In addition to continual pain, DED can lead to even worse issues, such as permanent damage to the Meibomian Glands and scratches on the surface of the eye.
Because eyes are as unique as the people they belong to, no single treatment is effective for everyone. This can leave those suffering from dry eye trying multiple treatments with minimal results.
And it’s also important to note the other side of the spectrum, too. Even if someone doesn’t show symptoms, he or she may still be developing Dry Eye Disease. It’s important to see an ophthalmologist who offers dry eye checks as part of all comprehensive eye exams.
What Can You Do for Your Irritated Eyes?
To anyone suffering from Dry Eye Disease, it’s important to know that you are not alone on this journey. Center For Sight recognizes the genuinely exhausting nature of irritated eyes. They have helped many patients before, and they could help you, too.
Center For Sight offers treatment options for every degree and type of DED. For those suffering from the most severe cases of dry eye, Center For Sight offers multiple great options. LipiFlow® and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments are proven ways to help your eyes produce better quality tears, and TrueTear® is an excellent option for those with inadequate tear production.
Whether you need prescription eye drops or leading-edge technology, the team at Center For Sight is ready to provide you with everything you need to help make your dry eye issues a thing of the past.
This article was presented and sponsored by Center For Sight. For more information, go to CenterForSightLV.com.