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When You Should Consider Seeing an Optometrist for Your Dry Eyes

Oct 02, 2023
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Dry eyes aren’t always cause for alarm, but several factors suggest it’s time to seek treatment. Learn about the causes, plus signs you should see an optometrist.

You’re trying to go about your day as usual, but your eyes feel almost paper dry. And no matter how many times you blink, the dryness lingers. 

Beyond the annoyance and distraction of such dryness, the symptoms sometimes indicate a medical condition in need of treatment. While the occasional eye dryness isn’t cause for alarm, certain factors may mean it’s time to seek professional support pronto. 

At our office in Riverside, California, Dr. Richard Bozner and his team expertly treat dry eyes to bring you swift relief that lasts.

Here’s a closer look at dry eyes, including common causes and signs it’s time to see an optometrist.

Dry eye symptoms

Chronic dry eyes, also known as dry eye disease, can affect your eyes, vision, and daily life in many ways. Common dry eye symptoms include:

  • A scratchy, burning, or stinging sensation
  • Blurry vision
  • Eye redness
  • Eye fatigue or strain
  • Feeling as though something is stuck in your eye
  • Sensitivity to light

These symptoms may worsen as the day goes on. You might also notice mucus that keeps your eyelids stuck together after sleeping. 

Dry eye risk factors

Most anyone can develop dry eyes, but symptoms are especially common if you’re female, age 50 or over, or wear contact lenses.

Consuming too little vitamin A, having an autoimmune condition such as Sjögren’s syndrome, and taking medications such as antihistamines can also fuel dry eyes. The same goes for hormonal shifts linked with pregnancy and menopause.

Behavioral and environmental factors may play a role as well. If you live or work in a dry environment or stare at digital screens for lengthy periods, you could experience eye dryness. 

When to see an optometrist for your dry eyes

If your dry eyes are more than an occasional, mild issue, schedule an eye exam. Chronic dry eye that goes untreated can lead to damaged tissue and scarring of your cornea.

Your ideal dry eye treatment depends on several factors, such as the underlying cause and the severity of your symptoms. After a comprehensive exam, Dr. Bozner may recommend:

  • Lifestyle changes, such as using a humidifier and taking screen breaks
  • BlephEx® to remove lash line debris
  • Prescription eye drops or ointments
  • OptiLight light therapy for reduced inflammation and bacteria
  • Thermal pulsation treatments, which use heat to express clogged glands
  • Zocular Eyelid System Treatment (ZEST), which is like a deep eye shampoo

You may benefit from one of these options or a combination of treatments. 

To learn more about dry eye disease or get the eye care you need, call Dr. Bozner's Vision Lab Optometry today.