Tears are essential for maintaining eye health, particularly of the front surface of the eye. They also help with providing clear vision. However, when an individual has dry eye, they often experience discomfort along with a range of other symptoms.
At Eye Health Centre in St. Albert, we’ve created a guide to help you identify key dry eye symptoms. If you’ve been experiencing any of these symptoms, we offer tailored dry eye treatments for long-lasting relief.
What is Dry Eye?
Dry eye syndrome (DES) is a common eye condition that is triggered by the eyes producing low-quality or low-quantity tears. It is most often caused by Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD), which occurs when the oil-producing glands in the eyelids are clogged. This often leads to dryness, irritation, and discomfort.
What Causes Dry Eye?
Dry eye can be caused by a variety of factors, including aging, hormonal changes, medications, environmental factors such as dry air or wind, medical conditions such as autoimmune diseases or diabetes, prolonged screen time, eye surgery, and contact lens wear.
Sometimes, multiple factors contribute to an individual’s case of dry eye — meaning they’ll need a tailored and multifaceted treatment approach to effectively manage the condition.
Key Symptoms of Dry Eye
Symptoms of dry eye vary from individual to individual, and can range from mildly irritating to debilitating. The most common ones include:
Dryness: You may feel that something is stuck in your eye or that your eyes are gritty or scratchy.
Irritation: Burning or stinging sensations are common with dry eye. They’re exacerbated in dry, windy, and dusty environments.
Redness: Dry eye can cause your eyes to appear red or bloodshot. This is caused by the lack of moisture in the eyes which results in blood vessels dilating.
Watery eyes: It seems contradictory, but some people with dry eye produce excess tears. This is because the eyes try to compensate for the lack of moisture by producing more tears. These tears often evaporate quickly and are chemically imbalanced, meaning they’re unable to lubricate the eyes adequately.
Blurry vision: Dry eye can cause your vision to become blurry or hazy, especially when reading or using a computer for an extended period.
Sensitivity to light: Dry eye can cause your eyes to become more sensitive to light, which can be uncomfortable in bright or sunny environments.
Treatments for Dry Eye
Treatment for dry eye may include prescription eye drops, warm compresses, modifying your environment (such as using a humidifier), adjusting medications, and treating underlying medical conditions like autoimmune disease. Your eye doctor may also recommend punctal plugs or innovative treatments such as I-RELIEF™ and IPL therapy to manage the condition effectively.
Find Dry Eye Treatments in St. Albert
If you’re experiencing any of the key symptoms of dry eye, book an appointment with Eye Health Centre in St. Albert to get an accurate diagnosis and develop a personalized treatment plan. With proper care and management, you can relieve your symptoms and protect your eye health.
MT: The Burning Truth About Dry Eye: How to Identify Key Symptoms
MD: Not sure if you have dry eye syndrome? Here are key symptoms to keep an eye out for. Seek tailored dry eye relief from an eye doctor in St. Albert.