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Identifying and Treating the Symptoms of Dry Eye


Our mountain climate is an ideal area for dry eye to develop. Low ambient humidity and higher altitudes make it a condition that is more likely to form here than a more humid area (such as Hawaii). This isn’t to say that everyone will get dry eye if they live here; indeed, the majority of people won’t experience the onset of dry eye.

As dry eye specialists, we spend a great deal of time educating not only our patients, but other Optometrists and doctors about dry eye, its symptoms, and effective treatments.

In this article we are going to break down some of the symptoms of dry eye that are often confused with other conditions, as well as effective treatment options. It goes without saying that if you are looking for dry eye treatment that we are always accessible to you- please book an appointment to come see us.

Common Symptoms of Dry Eye and Their Respective Treatments

Dry eye has many symptoms, some of which are often mistaken with allergic conjunctivitis (red eye as a result of eye allergies) or other developing eye conditions.

Stinging, Burning, and Sandy/Gritty Feelings in the Affected Eye

This sensation is uncomfortable, especially considering that the discomfort can exist in varying levels of severity. This is a result of a lack of moisture and can generally be addressed via lubricating eye drops or Restasis.

Periods of Blurred or Hazy Vision

These symptoms are usually caused by excessive tear production (albeit of poor quality). This seems counter-intuitive to most people, as dry eye is a result of a lack of lubrication. However, these tears do not last long on the eye and fail to provide proper lubrication.

Punctal plugs can prevent tears from draining from the eye too quickly. Certain medications can also influence tear quality.

Contact Lens Discomfort

Again caused by a lack of lubrication. Lubricating eye drops can provide relief, as can Restasis.

Inability to Cry When Emotionally Distressed, Unable to Produce Tears

A result of a lack of tear production, medications such as Restasis can influence these symptoms.

Eye Fatigue, Difficulty Reading or Working at a Computer, DIfficulty Maintaining Eye Focus for Prolonged Periods

These symptoms are a result of a combination of factors. The fact is that when you are experiencing discomfort or pain in the eye that it takes more energy (effort) to complete regular tasks. Treating your symptoms holistically will alleviate these concerns.

What to Do When Standard Treatments Fail to Provide Relief?

Most cases of dry eye can be effectively managed via standard treatments. However, some advanced or chronic cases may fail to adequately respond. In these cases, we move into more advanced options such as LipiFlow or IPL treatment.

What matters the most is that we establish a healthy partnership and work together to find the relief you need. If you are experiencing dry eye that simply will not let up, please come visit us- we are here to help you.