Should I See My Eye Doctor If I Have Dry Eyes?

woman with irritated eyes

Do your eyes often feel dry? Are you noticing fluctuating changes in your vision?

Dry eye has many symptoms that can be frustrating and uncomfortable. Keep reading to find out if you should see your eye doctor for dry eyes!

What is Dry Eye?

Dry eye occurs if your tear glands don’t produce enough tears or if the tears they make are poor-quality. If your tears are not balanced or you’re not producing sufficient tears, it will affect the surface of your eyes.

This often leads to blurry vision, irritation, redness, tearing, or discomfort. Tear instability is treatable, and it is essential to be proactive with your treatment by talking to your eye doctor about your symptoms.

Signs You Should See Your Eye Doctor for Your Dry Eye

If you notice any of the following signs, you should see your eye doctor concerning your dry eyes.

Your Symptoms Are Persistent

If you’re experiencing dry eye symptoms daily, it is important to find the root cause. Your ophthalmologist will establish the reason behind your dry eyes and provide the correct treatment to deal with your symptoms.

Some common dry eye symptoms include:

  • Stinging or burning sensation
  • Watery eyes
  • Eye redness
  • Stringy mucus around and in your eyes
  • Irritation
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Blurred vision

At-Home Remedies Are Not Working

At-home remedies can be helpful. Over-the-counter drops, warm compresses, reducing screen time, and using a humidifier can offer some much-needed relief from dry eyes, especially during the initial onset of symptoms.

However, home remedies only temporarily help in some cases of dry eye. If home remedies do not seem to improve your dry eye symptoms permanently, it’s time to schedule an appointment with your eye doctor.

Wearing Contact Lenses Is Uncomfortable

If you wear contacts, having dry eyes can cause them to feel uncomfortable at times. You may notice foggy vision and that your contacts become drier as you wear them throughout the day.

When you have dry eyes, the front surface of your eye is not adequately lubricated. Since a contact lens is another layer that your eye needs to lubricate, you may notice your eyes feel drier and more irritated when you wear them all day.

You Are Constantly Using Artificial Tears to Treat Your Symptoms

Has it reached a point where you frequently use over-the-counter drops to find relief? Although consistent artificial tear use can be necessary to treat dry eyes, other treatment options may help reduce your artificial tears use and your symptoms.

Treatment for Dry Eyes

Various treatment options are available for dry eye, and your eye doctor will determine what’s best for you depending on the severity and cause of your dry eye symptoms.

Prescription Eye Drops

Prescription eye drops help alleviate dry eye symptoms, increase tear production, and reduce damage to the front surface of your eyes.

Punctal Plugs

Punctal plugs are tiny, biocompatible devices placed in your tear ducts to stop tears from draining away from your eye as frequently. Keeping your tears on the surface of your eye longer can help keep your eyes lubricated, which decreases dry eye symptoms.

Steroid Drops

If you have too much inflammation due to dry eye symptoms, your eye doctor can prescribe steroid eye drops for short-term use. Treating inflammation can improve dry eye symptoms in some cases.

Are you struggling with the frustrating symptoms of dry eyes? Schedule an appointment at VisionFirst Eye Center in Birmingham, AL, today to get the help you need!

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