Dry Eyes? Diagnosis & Treatment in Hartsdale, NY
Effective Treatment to Relieve Dry Eye Irritations
Dry Eye Syndrome is one of the most common ocular conditions in the United States, with an estimated five million sufferers! The symptoms vary from person to person, yet the most common signs are a scratchy feeling, burning or stinging, red eyes, the sensation of sand stuck beneath your eyelids, and a constant need to blink or rub your eyes. Does this sound familiar?
At Hartsdale Family Eyecare, we’ll perform a thorough eye exam to diagnose dry eye and to find the cause. The most effective, helpful dry eye treatment needs to address your specific culprit.
We’ll evaluate the condition of your tears and eyes, as well as consider a variety of lifestyle issues, in order to recommend the best treatment for your needs.While dry eyes are generally not dangerous, they can complicate daily life and make many routine tasks into an uncomfortable experience. We’ll help restore your comfortable, clear vision.
Our qualified eye doctor, Dr. Arlene Schwartz, is very experienced with Dry Eye Syndrome, and many patients rely upon her expertise in our Hartsdale, NY, office. For relief from irritated or painful dry eyes, contact us to reserve your appointment.
Diagnosing Dry Eyes
Dr. Schwartz will meet with you to listen to your particular symptoms. Often, this description provides enough valuable information to diagnose Dry Eye Syndrome. Specialized procedures to measure the quantity or quality of your tears may also be done. For example, the Schirmer test involves placing a thin strip of filter paper against the edge of your eyelid to assess the amount of moisture in your tear film.
The following symptoms often indicate Dry Eye Syndrome:
- Pink, red and irritated eyes
- Itchy or scratchy eyes
- Sensation of grit under your eyelids
- Stinging or burning
- Watery eyes (dry eyes may stimulate excess tear production)
- Blurry vision
Causes of Dry Eyes
This annoying condition can be caused by a wide range of problems, including lifestyle habits, health issues, and atmospheric conditions. Some typical causes:
- Extended amount of time spent reading or staring at computers (can cause decreased blinking)
- High temperatures, strong winds, low humidity, air pollution
- Wearing contact lenses
- Blepharitis, which is a chronic, inflammatory eyelid disease associated with too much bacteria on the eyelid
- Post-LASIK surgery
- Specific diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, vitamin A deficiency, and hepatitis C
- Smoking, or exposure to smoke
- Aging, specifically with females
- Hormone replacement therapy
- A problem with the glands that manufacture tears
- Side effects from medications, such as diuretics, antidepressants, and antihistamines
Helpful Home Treatments for Dry Eyes
If you have dry eyes and find it challenging to read, drive, watch TV or play sports, there are a number of DIY home treatments that are worthwhile to try out. In addition to our optometrist’s recommended medical dry eye treatment, you can also take action with some of the following tips:
- Many over-the-counter remedies, such as artificial tears, can add lubrication. Be sure to check with our eye doctor about the particular brand that’s right for you.*
- Use an air filter to remove irritants from your environment
- A humidifier will increase moisture in the air and slow the evaporation rate of your tears
- Stay well-hydrated by drinking enough
- Fish oil supplements may help with dry eyes
- Sunglasses can protect your eyes from drying winds and damaging UV rays
*A Note About Lubricating Eye Drops:
Moisturizing eye drops for dry eyes are widely available. This can be a particularly effective treatment for uncomplicated dry eye, such as contact lens wearers or people who work or study in an excessively dry environment. Some eye drops may be purchased without a prescription, but it's always a good idea to consult with your eye doctor before using any eye medication - even over-the-counter eye drops - because there are formulas which are known to cause irritation.
Need Treatment from a Dry Eye Specialist?
Our dry eye specialist will develop a customized treatment plan for each patient, depending on the severity and likely causes of the dry eye symptoms. Here are some of the options for dry eye treatment:
Medicine for Dry Eyes
Dr. Schwartz may prescribe certain anti-inflammatory drugs or eye lubricants to enhance your tear production. If our eye exam detects the presence of too much bacteria that damage the natural lipids in your tears, we may prescribe antibiotics. Another option is to wear artificial tear inserts (similar to contact lenses), which release moisture slowly.
BlephEx Treatment for Blepharitis
Blepharitis is an overgrowth of bacteria along the eyelashes that can permeate eyelid tissue, cause inflammation and damage your tear ducts. Chronic dry eye and all of the associated irritations often develop. As eyelids are typically difficult to clean, the bacteria overgrowth may accumulate over years – to the point where significant damage is caused. BlephEx, the only clinician treatment customized to target blepharitis, can help prevent dry eyes by cleaning your eyelids.
With BlephEx, dry eye symptoms are alleviated almost immediately. Our optometrist, Dr. Schwartz, will use a specialized handpiece with a micro-sponge to precisely clean along the edge of your eyelashes. Essentially, this 6-8 minute procedure exfoliates your eyelids, and numbing eye drops are inserted first so BlephEx is painless. For best results, we generally recommend that you repeat the procedure every 4-6 months in our Hartsdale optometry clinic.
Performed as a quick in-house procedure in our Hartsdale clinic, punctal plug insertion refers to the process of sealing your punctum. By blocking this tiny opening in the corner of your eyelids, tear drainage is prevented. Extra moisture thereby remains on your eyes’ surface. Composed of silicone, punctal plugs come in many versions – with temporary types that dissolve, and long-term types.
Get Dry Eye Relief Today!
At Hartsdale Family Eyecare, we stay up-to-date with medical advances, so you’ll receive cutting-edge advice and dry eye treatments. If you’re seeking relief from the irritating symptoms of dry eyes, please contact our Hartsdale, NY optometry practice to reserve an appointment.