Plenty of people suffer from dry eye syndrome. Dry eyes can be triggered by several different factors. Some people are more prone to developing it than others.
Compared to more serious eye-related conditions, it may not seem as severe or threatening to your vision. But even beyond easing the discomfort of having dry eyes, it’s important to treat them to preserve your long-term eye health. Keep reading to learn why dry eye treatment is important!
Your Eyes Need Tears
There’s a reason your eyes produce tears beyond the important function of washing away contaminants. Without tears, the surface of your eyes won’t receive the oxygen necessary.
By providing your cornea with key nutrients and keeping the surface clear and lubricated, tears ensure you’re able to see.
Dry eye is usually caused by not having enough tears or producing low-quality tears. Tears are made of oil, mucus, and water.
When your tears have too much mucus and oil and not enough water, your eyes can’t don’t stay moisturized and healthy. Having dry eyes isn’t only uncomfortable, either, because it can damage your vision.
Dry Eye Complications
Without tears to keep your eyes healthy, they’re more susceptible to infection. Left untreated, dry eyes can even cause corneal ulcers or corneal abrasions.
An ulcer, which is an open sore, can develop as a result of an infection caused by inadequate tear production. Ulcers, when left untreated, can cause permanent scarring and even lead to vision loss.
Abrasions can occur when your eyes are vulnerable due to dryness by rubbing them or having debris in them. Without tears to wash out the debris, it can damage the layer of protective tissue over your cornea called the epithelium.
This leaves parts of your cornea vulnerable to even more severe damage from more debris or even sunlight. Corneal abrasions and ulcers can often be treated.
They are also preventable by having healthy tear production. If you have dry eye syndrome, you can save yourself from discomfort by getting proper treatment before the issue becomes severe.
You should treat your dry eye as soon as you realize you might have it. Only an eye care professional can diagnose dry eye syndrome.
Be sure to see your eye doctor if you start to experience dry eye symptoms. Proper treatment can save you from infection but it can also make it safer to have eye surgery.
Whether you need cataract surgery or you want to get LASIK, having dry eye syndrome under control is a must. Surgery affects tear production.
If you already have poor tear production, it can leave your eyes drier and more prone to infection after surgery. Luckily, whether you have a history of dry eye, your surgeon will assess how well your eyes produce tears before any eye surgery.
If pre-surgical screening finds you have dry eyes or are at an increased risk for developing them after surgery, your doctor will recommend treatment before you can have the procedure. Treatment may be as simple as adding nutritional supplements to your diet and using artificial tears.
In extreme cases, you may have punctal plugs implanted in your tear ducts. Punctal plugs prevent drainage, forcing your tears to stay on the surface of your eye longer.
Most cases of dry eye can be treated with these minimally invasive measures, keeping your eyes healthier and safer. There’s no reason to continue suffering from the symptoms of dry eye syndrome.
Ready to consider treating your dry eyes? Schedule an appointment at Sierra Nevada Eye Center in Reno, NV today!