Do You Suffer from Dry Eye Syndrome?
Our Eye Doctor Will Diagnose and Treat Your Dry Eye in St. Louis
The symptoms of dry eye include redness, a constant need to rub your eyes, frequent blinking, scratchiness or burning. You may also experience blurry vision or an inability to wear your contact lenses. If any of these symptoms are familiar to you, then you may have dry eye syndrome. Ranked as one of the most common eye conditions in the United States, dry eye deserves professional attention by a qualified eye doctor.
While this eye condition isn’t typically dangerous, it can be extremely annoying! Many daily activities, such as reading, looking at a computer screen, and driving can become an irritating challenge. There is no need to accept and live with these disruptive symptoms. Our eye doctors are knowledgeable about dry eye – we will perform a thorough St. Louis eye exam to diagnose your condition, identify the cause and recommend the most helpful dry eye treatment. If you are interested in restoring comfortable and clear eyesight to your life, contact our convenient St. Louis branch offices for an appointment!
Common Causes of Dry Eye
In general, either your tear glands do not manufacture enough tears or the chemical composition of your tears is of inferior quality. A poor tear composition leads to rapid evaporation, causing your eyes to dry out more quickly than normal.
The following circumstances can lead to insufficient tears:
- A problem with your tear glands, such as blepharitis
- Extensive time reading or gazing at a computer screen, which leads to decreased blinking
- Post-LASIK procedures
- Side effect of certain medication
- Wearing contact lenses
- Aging, particularly with females
- Hormone replacement therapy
- Low humidity, strong winds, and/or extreme temperatures
- High pollution in your environment, including from cigarette smoke
- Air-conditioning or heating
- Systemic disease, such as rosacea, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or Sjogren’s Syndrome
Dry Eye Diagnosis
The most reliable way to diagnose dry eye is with an eye exam in our St. Louis optometry clinic. Our eye doctor will listen to your symptoms and ask you a series of questions about your lifestyle. We may also perform specialized (quick and painless) procedures to measure the quantity or osmolarity of your tears, as well as check the evaporation rate of your tears. A proper diagnosis is necessary in order to determine the best treatment for each individual.
Treating Dry Eye
Once we know the cause of your dry eyes, we will outline your options for treatment. While you may experience some common dry eye symptoms, there are also a number of unique symptoms. Our eye doctor will address your personal situation to bring maximum relief.
There is no absolute cure for dry eyes, yet there is a variety of treatment plans, such as:
- Eye lubricants
- Antibiotics to destroy bacteria that are damaging your healthy tear composition
- Anti-inflammatory drugs to trigger tear production
- Steroid drops
- Artificial tear inserts
- Punctal plugs, which are inserted during an in-office procedure, to block your punctum and prevent/reduce tear drainage
- BlephEx to clean along the edge of your eyelashes (if you have blepharitis)
Ways to Relieve Dry Eye Symptoms at Home
In addition to medical dry eye treatment prescribed by our St. Louis eye doctor, there are effective ways to take action and relieve your pain at home.
- Install an air filter to eliminate irritants
- Use a humidifier to increase moisture
- Try over-the-counter lubricating drops (it’s advisable to check with your eye doctor about the best brands)
- Block UV rays and wind with a close-fitting pair of sunglasses, such as wraparound
- Drink enough!
- Fish oil supplements help some patients to enhance the moisturizing lipid content of tears
- Warm compresses may help to unblock tear glands and stimulate tear production
Our Eye Doctor Will Alleviate Your Dry Eye Discomfort
Contact us to schedule an eye exam in our fully equipped St. Louis offices. We will help restore comfort to your sore eyes!