Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry eyes is a common condition that has multiple causes. From allergies to conditions like conjunctivitis and blepharitis, the common symptoms of itching, grittiness, and blurred vision can range from mildly inconvenient to life-altering. When it comes to the condition known as dry eye syndrome, the underlying cause is a lack of natural lubrication—tears.
In some cases, the eyes fail to form enough tears. In others, the tears that form are of poor quality. There are many reasons people develop dry eyes. Besides certain diagnosed conditions, environmental factors, lifestyle choices, age, and some medications can impact the eye’s ability to effectively lubricate. Other conditions that might mimic some of the symptoms of dry eye syndrome include corneal abrasion, chalazion, blepharitis, allergies, and different forms of conjunctivitis.
How Do I Know if I Need to Find a Dry Eye Doctor Near Me?
While dry eyes might be a transient condition that you can self-treat with over-the-counter eye drops from a drug store, if the symptoms worsen or continue for more than a few days then you’re likely to need more specialized help—you need a dry eye doctor. This is a clinical professional who provides assessment, diagnosis, and treatment for the condition. If you don’t already have a trusted ophthalmologist, you might begin your search online by entering “dry eye specialist near me”.
Reasons you might need to seek treatment for dry eyes include long-term or exacerbation of some or many of the following symptoms:
- Stinging, burning, itchy eyes
- Your eyes feel gritty
- Excessive tearing (watery eyes)
- Blurred vision
- Photophobia (sensitivity to light)
- Tired eyes
- Difficulty wearing contact lenses
- Problems with vision when driving at night
- Mucus in or around the eyes
- Crusts forming around or in the corners of the eyes
These symptoms tend to occur in both eyes. However, in the case of infection or a scratch to the cornea you might have a problem in only one eye. However it affects you, if the problem continues for an extended period then it’s wise to seek professional assistance.
What Happens During Dry Eye Treatment?
When you visit a dry eye specialist the first thing they will do is take a detailed history. This will include questions such as:
- When did the problem start?
- Have you had a similar issue in the past?
- Do you spend a lot of time looking at a computer screen?
- Do you wear contact lenses?
- Was there a single incident that started the problem (e.g. did you get something in your eye?)
- Is it worse when you’re outside in the wind?
- Does it occur at certain times of the day/certain times of the year?
- Is there any history of dry eye syndrome in your immediate family?
- Do you take any regular medication?
- Have you self-medicated or used any eye drops?
After this, they will carry out a detailed examination of both eyes. This might include taking samples of any mucus or crusty deposits to be sent off for analysis. They might also assess your scalp, jaw, and lymph nodes in your neck.
Depending on the diagnosis, treatment for the cause of your dry eyes will vary. For a bacterial condition, such as blepharitis or bacterial conjunctivitis, the treatment might include antibiotic eye drops or ointment, along with careful and regular cleansing. Your eye doctor will discuss with you how to carry this out at home.
Dry eyes that stem from an allergy might be treated with eye drops or other medication to relieve the symptoms (antihistamines) and mechanical alterations, such as avoiding the cause of the allergy if possible, changing contact lens type, or reverting to glasses for a while.
If the cornea has become injured from a tiny foreign object (causing a scratch—a condition called a corneal abrasion) you may be prescribed antibiotic eye drops for a few days, have to wear an eye patch, or even have a special contact lens inserted to protect the cornea while it heals.
Dry eye syndrome—where the eyes don’t produce enough tears or tears that aren’t of the normal chemical makeup—is a long-term condition with no specific cure. Instead, a dry eye doctor has a range of treatments to ease the condition. This ranges from using eye drops, known as artificial tears, plugs to block the tear drain, or even laser treatment or minor surgery to permanently seal the eye’s natural drainage channel so you make the best use of the tears you do produce.
How Does WBEC Provide the Best Dry Eye Treatment in Boca Raton?
The West Boca Eye Center is a facility of clinical excellence that’s headed by one of the leading eye doctors in the country—Brent Bellotte MD. Recognized around the world for his expertise in eye surgery, diagnosis, and treatments, he leads a team that provides the very latest solutions to bring their patients their best possible vision.
When it comes to dry eyes, the sheer magnitude of conditions that cause similar symptoms requires specialist dry eye treatment. Boca Raton and South Florida residents are privileged to have this right on their doorstep, and many others travel to take advantage of Dr. Bellotte’s expertise.
The first stage of reducing or eliminating the symptoms of all dry eye and allergy conditions is that of a quick and accurate diagnosis. Once this is done, the correct treatment can be instigated to bring quick relief.
With a long-term condition, such as dry eye syndrome, it’s crucial to have the latest options available. The WBEC is an academic-grade facility, meaning that every aspect of treatment can be carried out on-site. In addition, Brent Bellotte plays a pivotal role in bringing the very latest, proven treatments to his patients—very often being able to offer cutting-edge solutions that might not be available elsewhere.