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The Discomfort (and Potential Danger) of Dry Eyes
A case of dry eyes might not sound like such a terrible condition -- until you experience chronic dry eyes for yourself. This condition may stem from insufficient/abnormal tear production or a variety of environmental factors (or a combination of both), resulting in discomfort, redness, vision impairment and possibly even long-term eye damage. This is one "minor annoyance" you need to get nipped in the bud before it can seriously interfere with your life. Fortunately, Fallas Family Vision's optometrist in McDonough, Dr. Humberto Fallas, can figure out what's causing your dryness and prescribe the appropriate treatment.
The eyes are delicate precision instruments, and as such they require the proper environment to remain functional and healthy. Your eyelids and tear glands work together to provide this environment. Every time you blink, the tear glands produce tears consisting of a blend of water, oils and mucus, which then covers the eye as a protective, lubricating, moisturizing film. But certain ailments and other situations can impair this operation, including:
- Tear gland dysfunction (often as part of the aging process)
- Blinking problems related to neurological disorders
- Sjogrens' syndrome and other autoimmune issues
- Medications that promote dryness
- Constant exposure to wind (including fans)
- Incorrect balance of water/mucus/oils
- Extended use of computer monitors (which can cause your eyes to blink infrequently)
Whatever the cause of your dry eyes, the symptoms will be the same. These include redness, eye fatigue, a gritty or "foreign body" feeling in the eye, blurred vision, hypersensitivity to light and, oddly enough, eyes that are constantly watering in their efforts to compensate for the dryness. If this condition continues to progress without treatment, the eyes can be vulnerable to infections, injuries and even ulceration of the corneas.
Dry Eye Treatment from Our Optometrist in McDonough
If you feel you may be suffering from dry eyes, it's time to visit our optometrist in McDonough for an evaluation, including an examination of your tear film balance and tear gland function. We will also ask you about your medical history, lifestyle, work habits and whether you're taking any drying medications. If an underlying medical issue is causing the problem, your primary care physician may need to switch your medications or treat the disorder in question. If you spend your entire day at the computer, we can advise you on how to give your eyes the "blink breaks" they need; we may also urge you to turn off your ceiling fan or other wind sources.
If you still need short-term or long-term help dehydrating and soothing your eyes, we can recommend the appropriate treatment to restore proper tear volume and balance. Artificial tears are one simple option, but you need to make sure you get the right kind to compensate for your particular problem -- such as low-viscosity products if you need more water or high-viscosity products if you need more lubrication/protection. Call 770-954-9898 to schedule an evaluation so we can help you conquer dry eyes for good!