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What is Dry Eye Syndrome?

Dry eye syndrome happens when your eyes are chronically dry because they are not producing enough natural tears. It is an extremely common condition, but one that should be treated right away. Left untreated, dry eye can cause itching, irritation, and even pain in the eye or eyes that are affected. In serious cases, it can even lead to cornea scratches and damage or loss of vision. Luckily, your Sandy Springs doctor of optometry can diagnose and treat this condition for you. In fact, it is quite easy to treat most of the time. The important thing is to get diagnosed, so proper treatment can begin early.

Dry eye syndrome treatment eye 1st vision center

How Does an Eye Doctor Diagnose and Treat Dry Eye?

Your optometrist will be able to tell if your eyes are drier than they should be, and if they have been that way for a while. You may not have noticed any symptoms yet, but an optometrist can tell just by looking at your eye during a routine annual exam if the surface is too dry. A closer examination and/or questioning may give the optometrist the cause of the condition, as dry eye can be caused by many things.

The most common causes of dry eye include:

  • Tear duct dysfunction
  • Allergies
  • Pregnancy
  • LASIK surgery
  • Vitamin A deficiency
  • Certain medications
  • Sjogren's Syndrome
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Chronic eye irritation from things you're exposed to daily, such as smoke or chemicals where you work or go to school

Dry eye is treated first with artificial tears. These are given in drop form, and you will usually take the drops three to four times a day, or as needed to keep your eyes moist and comfortable. Usually, it is just saline drops that are given, though occasionally, depending on the cause of the condition, steroid eye drops may be prescribed.

Other treatments include changing the environment to reduce or remove eye irritants, taking allergy medications such as antihistamines, and being fitted for plugs to go in the corners of your eyes to prevent tears from leaving the surface of the eyes. In severe cases, surgery may be needed to correct the condition, and typically involves partially stitching the eyelids shut, leaving them open enough for you to see, but allowing a place in the corners for tears to collect and keep the eye wet as it should be.

What to Do Next

If you suspect you may have dry eye, or are just in need of a new eye doctor or an annual eye exam, contact us to make your appointment. In addition to Sandy Springs, we serve Atlanta, Roswell, Marietta, Brookhaven, and other nearby communities. We are ready and eager to serve you  and to provide you with the exceptional eye care you deserve. We look forward to meeting you and welcoming you to the Eye 1st Vision Center family.

You can contact us at:

Eye 1st Vision Center

901 Abernathy Rd #100
Sandy Springs, GA 30328