Dry eye syndrome is a very common condition that dries out the surface of your eye. A person suffering from chronic dry eye can experience a wide range of symptoms, including redness, irritation, itchiness, excessive tearing, discomfort or pain, and even an intermittent or constant blurry vision. It’s important to know that dry eye syndrome is more just an annoyance. Dry Eye is a chronic condition, and it can become quite serious if left untreated!
The three main causative factors for dry eye are a lack of tears/dehydration, poor quality tears due to oil gland dysfunction, and exposure. Exposure is a term that means the eyes are open too much, either from sleeping with the eyes partly open or from not blinking well. There are also other factors that contribute to dry eyes such as environmental exposure (windy/dry environments), contact lens use, and medications like antihistamines, diuretics, and decongestants.
Itchy dry eyes, a sensation that there is an eyelash or other matter in the eyes, and burning sensation are the common symptoms of dry eye. Dry eye is also associated with a blurred vision which may improve briefly with a few good blinks, or from dry patches roughing up the corneas. Dry eyes can be associated with dry, red, crusty or itchy lids. Dryness in the mouth is sometimes found in patients with extreme dry eye. Individuals with dry eyes and mouth should drink plenty of water-and if the symptoms don’t resolve they may have Sjogrens disease.
Dry eye treatment is typically very effective and can help you feel much better in a short amount of time. Consult with your dry eye specialist in Seattle to find out what dry eye treatment would be the best fit for you.
In most cases, we can significantly improve the symptoms of dry eye with adequate hydration, working on eyelid health, and the use of artificial tears or medicated drops. It is very rare that our optometrists would refer for surgical intervention.
At Cannon Eye Care Seattle, we offer medical eye exams (billed to medical, not vision insurance) for patients suffering from dry, burning, or gritty eyes, with a goal of restoring eye health as well as improving comfort and vision.
Dr. Mark Cannon has a special interest in the dry eye because he has a mild case of it himself. Dry eye is typically a chronic condition, yet by restoring eye health we can typically get it controlled well enough to stop the suffering.
These services can be paid out of pocket or you can use medical insurance – vision insurance will not apply here. Medical insurance we take includes Premera, Regence, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Lifewise, Regence Group Administrators, HMA, Uniform Medical, BridgeSpan, and Group Health PPO plans.