If your eyes don’t make enough tears to stay wet or your tears don’t work the way they should, you’re not alone. Millions of people suffer from dry eye syndrome (DES), which occurs when your tears stop lubricating your eyes as well as they should. Sure, it’s annoying and uncomfortable, but left untreated, it can also turn into something serious. Inflammation, infection and scarring are possible, so you should see an ophthalmologist.
At the office of The Retina Partners, our skilled professionals are experts at diagnosing eye issues as well as providing the treatment needed to maintain excellent vision health.
Symptoms of persistent DES are vision fatigue, blurred vision, redness, sensitivity to light, trouble wearing contact lenses, a constant feeling of physical irritants in your eyes, mucus, stinging, scratchiness and burning. And, paradoxically, those irritations are likely to make your eyes watery.
The proper production of tears washes away surface germs, dust and dirt. Germs can promote infections, which can lead to conditions that include blindness. Dust, dirt and other foreign objects can cause small scratches or ulcers on the cornea (the eyes’ clear outer layer).
DES can also instigate irritation in your corneas, which enhances inflammation when your body directs immune cells to the damage. It’s a frustrating cycle. DES may also indicate other health problems such as rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma (a group of rare diseases that involve the hardening and tightening of the skin), and the autoimmune diseases Sjogren’s syndrome and systemic lupus erythematosus.
Some instances of DES can be treated at home. But because DES comes with a wide range of issues with a variety of origins, an ophthalmologist can tell you the best ways to manage it to ward off complications. He (or she) may prescribe medication, suggest a procedure or offer other treatment methods.
The Retina Partners’s professional team is made up of friendly, highly trained specialists who are eager to help you feel comfortable and relaxed while receiving the very best care. For more information about how we can help you, please don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment.