Tips from the Dry Eye Experts at Carter Eye Care
If you suffer from dry eye, you’re probably familiar with some of the symptoms. Just don’t self-diagnose!
After all, if you’re not careful, a quick Google search can make you think your run-of-the-mill tummy ache is gallstones. Or your banging headache is something much more grave.
The diagnosis of all medical conditions (big and small) is best left to the experts. And that goes for dry eye, too! Sometimes, dry eye is more of a nuisance than a serious medical concern. But there are some root causes of dry eye that can be more serious, and only a trained eye doctor will know exactly what to look for and exactly how to treat it.
Why is My Dry Eye Worse in the Fall?
Many people, especially here in North Texas, where we are blessed to live and work, experience a surge in dry eye symptoms when the season turns to fall. Why? Well, there are a few reasons. First, ragweed. And even though a ragweed plant only lasts one season, it can produce up to one BILLION pollen grains. Rude little weeds they are.
Next, decongestants and antihistamines certainly help dry out stopped-up sinuses and runny noses, but they can dry your eyes as well. Make sure to drink plenty of water if you’re taking allergy meds this time of year. And finally, regular windy conditions sprinkled with bouts of dry weather make North Texas a dry eye target.
Several dry eye symptoms also look like those of other eye infections. For this reason, it is important to see a professional who can determine if what you’re suffering from is, in fact, chronic dry eye and if it is related to allergies or has another root cause.
Symptoms of Dry Eye
The following symptoms, in any season, warrant an appointment with a trusted eye doctor:
- Discomfort with contact lenses
- Excessive dryness
- Fatigued eyes
- Light sensitivity
- Blurry vision
- Excessive tearing (oddly enough)
- Trouble with night driving
What Causes Dry Eye?
While your dry eye symptoms could be related to allergies or environment, most experts agree that doing near work on smartphones and computers—such as emailing, texting, viewing, working or gaming—can be blamed for much of the increase in dry eye symptoms in recent years. And with an ever-increasing reliance on electronic screens, the condition is expected to continue to rise.
All of the above interferes with the quality and quantity of tears a person makes. Not enough quality blinks means not enough natural tears, which can lead to dry eye symptoms. But just because dry eye is common doesn’t mean you have to just live with it! At Carter Eye Center, a vision specialist will perform a series of thorough diagnostic tests to evaluate your unique ocular surface condition.
How is Dry Eye Treated?
In a dry eye evaluation at Carter Eye Center, Dr. Harvey Carter will perform diagnostic testing, which includes ocular allergy testing to evaluate your unique ocular surface condition and discover the source of your dry eye symptoms. Thorough testing, including TearLab® to fully examine your ocular surface, will help us determine the best course of treatment for you.
There are a variety of treatment options for treating dry eye, ranging from eye drops to specially designed contact lenses, punctal plugs and more. The severity and root cause of your dry eye will determine which treatment is right for you. Some of our more advanced treatments include:
The iLUX® Device is used to warm and compress glands in the eyelids for patients with a specific type of dry eye, called Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD), also known as evaporative dry eye. iLUX has been shown to significantly reduce dry eye symptoms such as gritty eyes and irritation.
Carter Eye Center is proud to offer TearCare, a revolutionary new blink-assisted device that applies targeted thermal energy (heat) to the eyelids for the treatment of chronic dry eye. Performed in-office, TearCare testing and treatment are comfortable, customizable and fast, taking only about 20 minutes in total.
Discover the Carter Cares Advantage
For more than 30 years, Carter Eye Center has helped tens of thousands of individuals enjoy life with improved vision and healthy eyes using state-of-the-art technology. The Carter Cares Advantage is our collective commitment to advance vision health for patients who want improved vision for life.
Schedule your dry eye consultation with Dr. Carter today and say goodbye to fall dry eye!