Tips for Dry Eye Relief

Did you know that between 16 million and 49 million Americans have dry eyes? This is between 5-15% of the population!¹ Dry eye symptoms are often not harmful at first but if left untreated, they can be uncomfortable and could potentially affect your vision and harm the health of your eyes. Some signs that you might be experiencing dry eyes could include:   

  • Itching eyes  
  • Redness  
  • Feeling like something is in your eyes  
  • Light sensitivity   
  • Eye fatigue   
  • Blurred vision  

There are many causes for dry eye symptoms, such as:  

  • Medications/medical conditions  
  • Age  
  • Weather/environmental conditions 
  • Allergies  
  • Gender 

As we are entering the cold and dry winter months, Coloradans can notice their eyes feel like they are not producing enough tears to keep them properly lubricated. Cold weather is one of the leading causes of dry eyes because there tends to be a drop in humidity. As we are entering the winter months, (or any time of year) here are some tips to keep your eyes feeling their best!  

  • Avoid places with a lot of air movement  
  • Turn on a humidifier  
  • Rest your eyes frequently when doing near tasks 
  • Stay away from smoke  
  • Add omega-3 fatty acid to your diet²  

If these at-home remedies do not solve the dry eye issue, you could be experiencing chronic dry eye. Chronic dry eye can be alleviated by intervention from your optometrist. Eye doctors can prescribe medications to limit and manage the uncomfortable symptoms of dry eye. If the symptoms are still not going away, there are other options to manage your dry eyes such as: 

  • Using special contact lenses. Ask your doctor about newer contact lenses designed to help people with dry eyes. Daily disposable contact lenses are often the best choice for patients with dry eye. Some people with severe dry eyes may opt for special contact lenses that protect the surface of the eyes and trap moisture. These are called scleral lenses or bandage lenses. 
  • Unblocking oil glands. Warm compresses or eye masks used daily can help clear up blocked oil glands. In office procedures to clear blocked glands often help in more severe cases, or in cases where the meibomian glands are atrophied. 
  • Using light therapy and eyelid massage. A technique called intense-pulsed light therapy followed by massage of the eyelids has proved to help people with moderate to severe dry eyes. This is also helpful with patients who have a condition called ocular rosacea. 
  • Closing your tear ducts to reduce tear loss. Your doctor may suggest this treatment to keep your tears from leaving your eye too quickly. This can be done by partially or completely closing your tear ducts, which normally serve to drain tears away. 
    Tear ducts can be plugged with tiny silicone plugs (punctal plugs). These are removable. Or tear ducts can be plugged with a procedure that uses heat. This is a more permanent solution called thermal cautery. 
  • Medications to treat chronic inflammation associated with Dry Eye. Your doctor may prescribe short term or long-term medication to assist in controlling the inflammation. There are many options available.³ 

During your annual comprehensive eye exam is a great time to discuss dry eye concerns, care and management with your optometrist. The sooner you begin treatment the easier it is to control this condition long-term. If you do not have an optometrist, find one near you here!   

References:  

  1. https://dryeyedirectory.com/dry-eye-statistics/#:~:text=Currently%20between%2016%20million%20and,the%20economy%20each%20year%20%5B10%5D 
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/dry-eyes-home-remedies#prevention 
  3. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dry-eyes/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20371869 

Tips for Dry Eye Relief


Tips for Dry Eye Relief

Did you know that between 16 million and 49 million Americans have dry eyes? This is between 5-15% of the population!¹ Dry eye symptoms are


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Optometrists and Eye Emergencies

Eye emergencies happen. Our first instinct may be to get to an emergency room or an urgent care for help, however that might not always be the best plan of action when dealing with the eyes. Oftentimes ERs are able to treat a wound, but they don’t always have the correct equipment to do a proper comprehensive eye examination; staff who specialize in eye care; and/or could potentially misdiagnose you resulting in permanent vision loss. Visiting your optometrist could be the best answer when dealing with an eye-related emergency. 

Nearly 25% of eye-related ER visits were determined to be non-emergencies and could have been treated by an optometrist in-office.¹ Unnecessary ER visits can be costly to the patient and even slow down care for others experiencing an emergency, too. There are many reasons to choose to visit an optometrist, but specifically in an eye emergency because they can treat six common eye care emergencies.   

  • Blunt Eye Trauma 
  • Eye Cut, Puncture or Foreign Body to the Eye or Eyelid 
  • Chemical Burn of the Eye 
  • Sudden Vision Changes or Loss 
  • Red Eye 
  • Pupils are Different Sizes (pupil anisocoria) 

Leaving these symptoms untreated for a long amount of time can lead to permanent damage, vision loss or blindness. Not to mention, these symptoms can be very irritating. Most eye doctors have emergency/urgent care hours for their office as they are experts in treating these types of problems and can help to keep your eyes and vision safe and healthy. Eye doctors want to help by providing convenient and quick care, so utilizing their urgent care after-hours for emergencies could be beneficial.   

Having consistent interactions with an eye care professional can help you determine if what you are experiencing is an actual emergency or something that is completely common and benign. Getting an annual comprehensive eye exam can help you to understand any eye conditions you might experience, for instance, a puffy eyelid; pink eye; or eye floaters. Eye doctors are also able to help diagnose many underlying health conditions that you might have through an eye exam which can illuminate paths for treatment. 

Optometrists are specialists of the eyes, and they know the best route to keep you healthy and seeing your best. Reach out to your optometrist to help you determine what options there are within their office for emergency care. If you don’t have an optometrist, click here to find one near you! An eye doctor should be the primary line of defense for your eye health and working with them will help you to be prepared if an eye emergency happens.  

  

References: 

  1. https://www.aaojournal.org/article/S0161-6420(16)31631-1/fulltext

Tips for Dry Eye Relief


Tips for Dry Eye Relief

Did you know that between 16 million and 49 million Americans have dry eyes? This is between 5-15% of the population!¹ Dry eye symptoms are


Read More »

Back-To-School Time: An Annual Eye Exam Needs To Be On Your List!

A comprehensive eye exam for your child should be one of the items on your back-to-school list! An annual exam can help your child keep seeing clearly and help to diagnose any underlying health or learning issues. Keeping our kids’ bodies and vision in tip-top shape is important for not only their health, but also their academic success. 

Children’s vision can frequently change throughout the year, so ensuring that they receive an annual eye exam will help them to see their best! If a child has other eye health concerns, more visits to your optometrist might be necessary. Did you know that optometrists can screen for over 270 diseases? It’s true that your eyes are the window to your health. During the comprehensive eye exam, your eye doctor will screen for any potential health issues. 

It certainly is important for annual check-ups even when there are no significant symptoms, however, there are tell-tale signs that your child needs to see an eye doctor for corrective lenses and other vision correction. 

Signs of eye and vision problems 

  • Complaints of discomfort and fatigue. 
  • Frequent eye rubbing or blinking. 
  • Short attention span. 
  • Avoiding reading and other close activities. 
  • Frequent headaches. 
  • Covering one eye. 
  • Tilting the head to one side. 
  • Holding reading materials close to the face. 
  • An eye turning in or out. 
  • Seeing double. 
  • Losing place when reading. 
  • Difficulty remembering what they read.¹

These symptoms can hinder the success your child could achieve in school and extracurricular activities due to lack of confidence or poor binocularity. Vision-related learning problems can lead to feelings of inadequacy compared to their peers which could result in them falling behind in their foundational knowledge. The good news is that your eye doctor can put a stop to these issues simply by correcting your child’s vision!² 

You might be thinking, “my kid gets a vision test every year at school or at the pediatrician’s office”. This may be true; however, typically these are vision screenings and not complete examinations.  Parents and educators should not rely solely on school or vision screenings. Just because a child has 20/20 vision, doesn’t mean that they couldn’t still have vision problems relating to eye focusing, eye tracking and eye coordination which can easily be diagnosed by an optometrist during a comprehensive eye exam. To ensure your child is seeing their absolute best, you can find an optometrist near you, here

References:

  1. https://www.aoa.org/healthy-eyes/caring-for-your-eyes/back-to-school?sso=y&ct=74de599596b8f0625ecee7e73b9075748b40b67c7483063398c240812d9cc25103a8fe3cdf4730eaa60a156eb827cb7e3ce2c9ffd0bf6feed002d659bd886416#:~:text=Why%20back%2Dto%2Dschool%20eye,if%20recommended%20by%20an%20optometrist.https://iconeyecare.com/eye-care-blog/10-cataract-facts-cataract-awareness-month/
  2. https://evansandpiggotteyecare.com/four-ways-poor-vision-can-affect-learning-children/

Tips for Dry Eye Relief


Tips for Dry Eye Relief

Did you know that between 16 million and 49 million Americans have dry eyes? This is between 5-15% of the population!¹ Dry eye symptoms are


Read More »

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