5 Facts About Dry Eye Syndrome

Eye Doctor Serving Mobile, Alabama and the nearby Gulf Coast Area

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Dry eye syndrome means your eyes do not produce enough tear film. It is this natural film that keeps your eyes lubricated and comfortable, and contributes to clear vision. In Mobile, Alabama, Dr. Chris Walton offers a wide range of ophthalmological services, including dry eye treatment.

Dr. Walton focuses his practice on providing LASIK surgery. Although temporary dry eye is a possible risk of LASIK, Dr. Walton knows how to evaluate your candidacy and your individual risk of dry eye. Read below to get more information about this condition and what you can do.

1. There are many possible causes of dry eye.

Some of the most common reasons for eye dryness include:

  • Wearing contact lenses
  • Allergies
  • Advanced dry eye disease
  • LASIK surgery temporary side effects
  • Certain medications
  • Certain underlying diseases
  • Hot, dry climate
  • Windy weather
  • Computers, phones and other screens
  • Smoky air

Dry eye may arise because nearby glands are not producing enough tears, or the tears produced are not composed of the right amount of oil, water and mucus. Your dry eye could be related to lack of production, increased tear evaporation or problematic tear composition. Dr. Walton helps to narrow down the cause and he'll find you the right relief for your symptoms.

2. Symptoms of dry eye can be really uncomfortable.

Man holding his glasses so he can rub his eyes because of dry eye symptomsIf you experience dry eyes frequently, the symptoms can be really inconvenient. Words used to describe this condition run the gamut and include:

  • Gritty
  • Itchy
  • Burning
  • Stinging
  • Redness
  • Irritation
  • Sensation of having a foreign body in the eye (i.e. like there's a piece of debris stuck to your eye)
  • Excessive tears and watering

When you have these symptoms, you just want to feel relief. Talk to Dr. Walton about soothing eye drops and other treatments.

3. Eye drops soothe symptoms of dry eye.

Dr. Walton will recommend a dry eye treatment based on what is causing your symptoms and your ophthalmological history. Oftentimes eye drops and artificial tears are all that is necessary. Refresh by Optive is a great option for dry eye and the type that Dr. Walton most often recommends. For allergies, Dr. Walton may recommend Pazeo by Alcon. For advanced dry eye disease, Restasis or Xiidra are two effective options.

4. Dry eyes is a possible side effect of LASIK surgery.

Research has shown that about half of people who undergo LASIK experience some degree of dry eyes afterward. In the vast majority of cases, the issue corrects itself anywhere from several weeks to several months after surgery. For a smaller number of patients, dry eye may persist.

5. Dr. Walton carefully screens candidacy factors, including whether you are prone to dry eye.

While it's true some people will experience temporary – or, in fewer cases, lasting – dry eye after LASIK, choosing a surgeon carefully will go a long way in helping you avoid this side effect. Dr. Walton will first evaluate your current eye health. If you are already suffering from dry eye or have a high risk of developing it, then he will determine what to do next. Don't worry! You still may be a good candidate for LASIK, or an alternative like PRK that provides great results without the dry eye risk. It may even be as simple as pre-treating your eyes with artificial tears in the weeks before LASIK surgery.

What To Do About Dry Eye

If you suffer from these eye symptom, you are not alone: Millions of American adults experience dry eye syndrome. It becomes more prevalent with age, and more women than men tend to have these symptoms. To learn more about your eye health and to receive custom ophthalmological treatment, please call the Mobile, Alabama practice of Dr. Chris Walton at 251-341-3385.

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