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Dry Eye

Do You Have Dry Eye?

Are your eyes dry, itchy, or watery? Do you find yourself experiencing these symptoms often?

You may have a chronic eye condition called dry eye syndrome. If you have dry eyes, you’re not alone. The chronic condition is something that millions have.

However, the good news is that it’s treatable, and with treatment, you can get the relief you need from the experts at Georgia Eye Physicians & Surgeons.

What is Dry Eye Syndrome?

Dry eye syndrome is a chronic eye condition that occurs when your eyes cannot create enough tears, or the tears made are lacking in quality. The tears created evaporate from the eyes too quickly, making them unable to deliver essential nutrients.

Your tears are a crucial component to keeping your eyes healthy. They keep your eyes lubricated and ensure you can see clearly.

The eyes have a tear film with three components: water, oil, and mucus. If any of the components is missing or isn’t the proper amount, this can cause troublesome symptoms that make your eyes feel uncomfortable or issues with your vision.

Symptoms of Having Dry Eyes

If you have dry eyes, the most common symptom many patients experience is dryness. However, you may experience other symptoms like:

If you experience these symptoms, it’s essential to let your ophthalmologist at Georgia Eye Physicians & Surgeons know. Although dry eye symptoms are not exclusive to this eye condition, they usually indicate something is wrong with your eyes and should be investigated further.

Treating Dry Eyes

If you think you could have dry eye syndrome, the best thing you can do is seek treatment. The eye doctors at Georgia Eye Physicians & Surgeons offer several treatment options. They will recommend the best treatment depending on the root cause and severity of your symptoms. 

Before treating dry eyes using medication and other treatments, your ophthalmologist may recommend making small lifestyle changes to manage your symptoms.

Reduce Screen Time

If you spend most of your day looking at digital devices for work or play, you may need to reduce your screen time. Digital devices like smartphones, tablets, and laptops can reduce your blink rate.

If you’re not blinking enough, this can contribute to feelings of dry eye. Following the 20-20-20 rule can help. With this rule, every 20 minutes, take a break from looking at a screen and look at something that’s at least 20 feet away from you for 20 seconds. 

Doing this gives your eyes a much-needed break and is also the perfect reminder to blink.

Stay Hydrated

If your eyes feel dry, this is often a sign that you’re not drinking enough water. Most people need at least eight-ounce glasses a day at a minimum to ensure they stay hydrated.

If you’re thirsty, this is your body telling you to drink more water. Drinking enough water and staying hydrated ensures your body functions as it should, including your eyes.

Use a Humidifier

Dry eyes often benefit from using a humidifier where you spend the most time. For most people, this includes your home and office.

Using a humidifier helps add moisture back into the air and can be especially helpful during dry winter months when there may not be enough moisture in the air.

If you’ve tried making these small lifestyle changes without seeing the results you want, your Georgia Eye Physicians & Surgeons eye doctor will likely recommend further treatment. These treatment options include:

Tear Lab

Tear Lab is a test your ophthalmologist can run to determine if you have dry eye syndrome and its severity. Tear Lab measures the quality and quantity of the tears you produce.

Based on the information gathered with a Tear Lab test, your eye doctor can devise a personalized treatment plan to treat your dry eyes.

Tear Plugs

Tear plugs, also called punctal plugs, are small plugs inserted into your tear ducts. Tear plugs help prevent your tears from draining or evaporating from your eyes too quickly, which keeps them more comfortable and gives you the moisture you need.

Serum Eye Drops

For more severe cases of dry eye, your ophthalmologist may recommend autologous serum eye drops. Serum eye drops are made from your blood and contain natural ingredients that help heal the surface of your eye and reduce inflammation, making them an excellent choice for patients with dry eyes.

Compounded Medications

Your ophthalmologist may prescribe compounded medications, which a pharmacist specially prepares for your individual needs. These compounded medications can include eye drops, ointments, or gels that are not typically available commercially. 

Your ophthalmologist will work with a compounding pharmacy to create a formula precisely right for your eyes and their unique needs.

Oral Treatments

You may have certain oral medications prescribed by your eye doctor at Georgia Eye Physicians & Surgeons to treat dry eyes. These may include antibiotics to treat inflammation, omega-3 fatty acid supplements to improve tear quality, and cholinergics to stimulate tear production.

Dry Eye Specialists

Get Started

Do you think you could have dry eyes? Take the first step to finding the relief you need by requesting an appointment today at Georgia Eye Physicians & Surgeons in Duluth, GA! 
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