Dry eye syndrome is a common eye condition that affects patients who do not have enough tear production to properly lubricate their eyes. Tears are necessary for optimal eye health and for providing clear vision. When the eyes don’t produce tears, it can be uncomfortable and lead to blurry vision. At Nevada Eye Physicians, our vision professionals in Las Vegas, Mesquite, Henderson, Pahrump, and Boulder City, NV provide eye examinations to diagnose and treat various eye conditions, like dry eye syndrome, for our patients. We offer numerous dry eye syndrome treatments to suit the needs of each of our patients.
Symptoms of dry eye syndrome
Some of the most common signs that you may have dry eye syndrome include:
- Burning, pain or redness in the eyes
- Stringy mucus
- Itchy eyes
- Blurred vision
- Lack of tear production
- Difficulty wearing contact lenses
- Eye irritation, whether from wind or smoke
Causes of dry eyes
Tears have three layers – the oily outer layer, the watery middle layer, and the inner mucus layer. When the glands don’t produce enough of each, the tears become inflamed, which can lead to dry eye syndrome.
Dry eye syndrome is common in women who are pregnant, on hormone replacement therapy, or going through menopause. Also, those with chronic allergies, thyroid disease, lupus, or rheumatoid arthritis; or those who take nasal decongestants, birth control pills, antidepressants or antihistamines; or patients who have had LASIK eye surgery; or have a vitamin A deficiency are more at risk for experiencing dry eye syndrome symptoms. Long-term contact lens wear and staring at a computer for long hours also can lead to the onset of dry eye syndrome.
Diagnosing dry eyes
When your eyes suddenly feel different than before, it’s time to schedule a visit to Nevada Eye Physicians. Our vision professionals can perform many tests that examine the number of tears in your eyes. For this test, we will use a dye known as fluorescein to make the tear film on your eyes easier to see. A Schirmer’s test can also be used to measure how quickly your eyes can produce tears. This will test the rate of tear productions using a paper wick that is placed on the edge of each eyelid. Our vision professionals can also look at the quality of the tears and how long it takes tears to dry. Patients with dry eye syndrome will show a lack of tears, areas of dryness, irritation, redness, and drainage that isn’t balanced.
How to treat dry eyes
After our vision professionals have diagnosed you with dry eye syndrome, we can offer a variety of dry eye syndrome treatments to choose from. While dry eye syndrome has no cure, we have successfully treated its symptoms for our patients. Over-the-counter artificial tears can be used in minor cases to lubricate the eye. During your appointment, one of our vision professionals can create a custom treatment plan that suits your needs. At-home dry eye remedies include wearing sunglasses when outdoors, increasing humidity at home or at the workplace, increased water intake, and nutritional supplements that contain fatty acids.
Medications, such as Restasis, can be used to increase the number of tears in the eyes and to lower the risk of corneal damage. If your case of dry eye syndrome is severe, we can prescribe corticosteroid eye drops for a short time. Cholinergic medication can also stimulate tear production too. A well-balanced diet is vital to eye health too. Omega-3 fatty acids are especially beneficial to patients with dry eye syndrome.
Learn more about dry eye syndrome treatment options
At Nevada Eye Physicians, we offer superior care to our patients suffering from dry eyes. While this is a common eye condition, it shouldn’t get in the way of your daily activity. If you’re suffering from symptoms associated with dry eye syndrome, it’s time to schedule an appointment with our vision professionals at Nevada Eye Physicians in Las Vegas, Mesquite, Henderson, Pahrump, and Boulder City, NV. We can discuss your symptoms and determine the best treatment option for your health. Begin decreasing your discomfort with our professional help today.