Many suffer from the occasional bout of eye dryness when the humidity drops, but for some individuals, chronic dryness may be a sign of dry eye syndrome (or dry eye disease). Nearly half of all American adults (aged 18 or older) have reported regular symptoms of dry eye.
At an anatomical level, dry eye syndrome occurs when there is a chronic lack of moisture on the eye’s surface. Because the eye is not properly lubricated, the eyes may be constantly irritated and can even eventually suffer surface scarring. Common symptoms of dry eye disease can include subtle issues like redness, soreness or a feeling of having “tired eyes,” as well as more severe and nagging issues like burning, itching, pain or blurred vision.
Fortunately for dry eye sufferers, there are many solutions available. One of the simplest solutions is to use one of several kinds of eye drops on a regular basis. Artificial tears (either over-the-counter or prescription) can provide necessary lubrication, prescription eye drops like Restasis and Xiidra can help to reduce inflammation in addition to providing lubrication, and steroid eye drops can help to quickly reduce inflammation and serious issues (though this is a short-term solution that is usually combined with a more long-term plan from your ophthalmologist). Other possible treatments include warm compresses, intense pulsed light (or IPL) treatment, and more.
If you suffer from chronic dry eyes, contact Eye Michigan to make an appointment to find out if you have dry eye syndrome and the best plan for your condition. Whether your issues are chronic or acute, your doctor will help you find an appropriate solution and develop a long-term treatment plan.