Dry Eye Treatment at Eye Clinic of Sandpoint
Dry eye syndrome is a relatively common eye condition. It occurs when your eyes don't make enough natural tears to keep your eyes hydrated. It can also occur if the tears you produce are of poor quality and evaporate before they can properly hydrate your eyes. This condition causes symptoms that are both uncomfortable and can negatively impact your vision. Fortunately, the professionals at Eye Clinic of Sandpoint can create a treatment plan that will help manage your dry eye syndrome and prevent it from reoccurring.
Who Is at Risk?
Anyone can develop dry eye syndrome. However, certain factors can increase your risk of developing this condition, including:
- Age: As you get older, your eye produces fewer tears, which can cause dry eye syndrome.
- Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions can cause dry eyes, such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disorder, vitamin A deficiency, and allergic eye disease.
- Medications: Certain medications list dry eye as a side effect. These include decongestants, antihistamines, high blood pressure medication, birth control, acne medication, and hormone replacement therapy.
- Sex: Women are more prone to dry eyes than men.
- Surgery: You are more at risk of dry eye syndrome during the recovery process post-eye surgery.
What Are the Symptoms of Dry Eyes?
Dry eye syndrome has a wide range of symptoms. We often see patients suffering from:
- Mucus in the eyes
- Redness of the eyes
- Sensitivity to light
- Trouble seeing at night
- Blurry vision
- Eye fatigue
- Trouble wearing contacts
How Is Dry Eye Syndrome Diagnosed?
Dry eye syndrome can be diagnosed during your annual eye exam. If our optometrists suspect that you have dry eye syndrome, we will provide a few tests for a thorough diagnosis, including:
- Schirmer test: During this test, our eye doctors will put a blotting strip under your lower eyelid for five minutes. After, we will check the strip to see the number of tears that were absorbed.
- Testing your tear quality: Our optometrists can perform a test to determine the quality of your tears. First, we will put eye drops that contain a special dye in your eyes. Then, our eye doctors will observe the staining pattern to see how long it takes for your tears to evaporate.
Treatment for Dry Eyes
There are a few treatment options for dry eyes. The one that our doctors will prescribe will depend on the severity of your condition. Common treatment options we provide include:
- Artificial tears: Artificial tears are prescribed for mild cases. You would put the drops in your eye when they start feeling dry.
- Eye inserts: Eye inserts work the same way that artificial tears do. The insert would go in your eye, and during the day, the inserts will slowly dissolve, keeping your eyes hydrated.
- Tear-stimulating drugs: Our optometrist can prescribe a medication that helps your eyes produce more natural tears.
- Punctal plugs: This treatment is designed for more severe cases. The plugs are inserted in the eyes to close off the tear ducts. This will prevent tear loss, keeping your eyes hydrated.
Contact Us for Dry Eye Treatment in Sandpoint, Idaho
If you are suffering from dry eye syndrome, schedule an appointment with our team at Eye Clinic of Sandpoint. Our doctors of optometry can create a treatment plan to make you more comfortable and improve your vision. To schedule an appointment or to learn more about how we can help, give us a call today.