When to See a Doctor About Dry Eyes

When to See a Doctor About Dry Eyes

Dry eyes, or dry eye disease, can be a temporary nuisance. Allergies, dry or dusty air, and staring at a computer screen can all contribute to temporary cases of dry eyes. But what happens when occasional dry eyes start morphing to chronic dry eyes?

Optometrists and ophthalmologists are experts when it comes to treating dry eyes here at Paragon Eye Associates in Arlington and Mansfield, Texas. Our team highlights the warning signs that it’s time to see a doctor about a case of dry eyes.

When to see a doctor about dry eyes

You should see a doctor if your dry eyes aren’t a one-off occurrence. Dry eyes are more than just bothersome; without the proper lubrication, your eyes are more likely to sustain an injury or irritation. 

Symptoms that may warrant ophthalmologic care include:

Believe it or not, water eyes are a red flag for dry eyes. Dry eyes can trigger an overproduction of tears, and the tears wash away the oily lubrication that your eyes need. 

Why treatment matters for dry eyes

Dry eyes treatment can alleviate your symptoms, but it can also treat the root problem. 

For example, meibomian gland disorder is a common cause of dry eyes. These glands, which are in your eyelids, excrete an oily substance to keep your eyes lubricated. If these glands don’t function properly, it leads to one type of dry eyes called evaporative dry eye. 

In addition to evaporative dry eye, there is another type called aqueous tear-deficient dry eye. Other causes of dry eyes include vitamin deficiency, allergies, and certain medications. Dry eyes are also a common side effect of LASIK surgery.

Seeking treatment provides an opportunity to pinpoint the exact cause of your dry eye so you can get started on the right treatment path.

How Paragon Eye Associates treats dry eyes

The cause of your dry eyes determines your ideal treatment. That’s why we always begin with a comprehensive eye exam. 

Dry eye disease is often diagnosed with the Schirmer test. The Schirmer test has been used for over 100 years to diagnose dry eyes. During this five-minute test, we place strips of specialty paper under your lower eyelid, and we measure how much (or little) your tears moisten the paper. 

In addition to the Schirmer test, we evaluate your meibomian glands with meibography to see if any blockages are contributing to your dry eyes. 

Once we reach a diagnosis, we create customized treatment plans. Treatments can include eye drops, medications, lifestyle modifications (like switching from contacts to eyeglasses), and punctal plugs. We can also suggest tips for avoiding digital eyestrain.

If meibomian gland disorder is the source of your symptoms, we may recommend iLux® treatment. The iLux system is designed to heat and apply gentle pressure to your eyelids. The combination of heat and gentle pressure opens up blocked meibomian glands, allowing the glands to naturally release lubricating oil.

Clinical studies show that iLux treatment improves dry eye symptoms and improves your meibomian gland functions.

You don’t need to suffer with dry eyes. To find out what’s causing your dry eyes, call our Arlington or Mansfield, Texas, office and get started with the right treatment today. You can also send a message via our website.

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