Dry Eye FAQs From Oxford Optometry in Woodstock
If you're suffering from scratchy, burning eyes, it may not be simple eyestrain from working too hard. You may have a medical condition known as dry eye. At Oxford Optometry in Woodstock, ON, we have a wide variety of patients who are dealing with dry eye. Once they have a diagnosis, they naturally have a lot of questions about the condition. Here are some of the more common ones we hear in our office:
What is Dry Eye?
This is a condition where the chemical makeup of the tears isn't right, so it won't do what it's supposed to do for your eyes. It can take one of two forms. Either the glands in your eyelids don't produce enough oils to make the tears healthy, or your eyes don't produce enough water to give the tears the right consistency. Either condition can cause the condition we call dry eye.
What Are the Symptoms?
Our optometrist team sees patients with a wide range of dry eye symptoms. Some of the more common ones include:
- Sensitivity to light
- Excess tearing
- A feeling of grit in the eye
- Blurred vision
How Does the Eye Doctor Treat Dry Eye?
The treatment depends on the cause of the dry eye. In most cases, we'll begin by treating the symptoms. We recommend artificial tears to keep your eyes lubricated as well as warm compresses at home to relieve the worst of the symptoms. If the problem persists, further treatment might be warranted, including punctal plugs and tear duct surgery.
Can I Help at Home?
Home treatment usually includes a variety of methods to relieve symptoms. In addition to warm compresses, it often helps to use a humidifier in your home or office, to wear wraparound sunglasses whenever you leave the house, and to make a habit of blinking more regularly.
What Happens if it's Left Untreated?
If you ignore your dry eye symptoms and just hope it gets better, you could be opening yourself up to a long list of permanent eye problems. Tears protect the eyes, and chronic dryness can leave the eyes open to serious infection. This can even lead to corneal scarring, which permanently damages your eyesight.
Contact Our Woodstock Optometry Office
Dry eye syndrome isn't just an irritating bunch of symptoms, it's a serious medical condition. If you're constantly dealing with red, itchy eyes day after day, it's time to make an appointment for a comprehensive eye examination. Give us a call at Oxford Optometry at (519) 421-3303 and we'll schedule an appointment for you today.