Optometrists located in Flint, MI & Saginaw, MI
As many as 50% of Americans experience dry eyes at some point. If you’re dealing with chronic dry eyes, along with other symptoms like soreness or grainy-feeling eyes, you may need specialized treatment to restore a healthy tear balance. At Riverfront Eyecare in Flint and Saginaw, Michigan, the experienced optometrists know how to diagnose and manage your dry eyes using the most effective tools and treatments. Call either office or book an appointment online for dry eye relief.
Dry Eyes Q&A
What is dry eyes?
Dry eyes or dry eye syndrome occurs when you don't produce enough tears, or when your tears are poor quality. Although the hallmark symptom of dry eyes is dry-feeling eyes, most sufferers also have other eye problems such as:
- Feeling of a foreign body in your eye
- Light sensitivity
- Red eyes
If you have chronic severe dry eyes, you could also develop vision issues such as blurry vision.
What causes dry eyes?
There are many potential causes of dry eyes. You have issues with your tears because of:
- Aging - natural eye changes often cause dry eyes after age 65
- Sex - hormone fluctuations make women more prone to dry eyes
- Medication (e.g., contraceptive, allergy, hypertension, anti-acne, and antidepressant drugs)
- Illness (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, diabetes, or thyroid gland dysfunction)
- Eye problems (e.g., entropion, ectropion, and others)
- Climate - a dry or windy climate can contribute to dry eye syndrome
- Screen time - computer, tablet, or phone overuse
- Surgery - LASIK or other refractive surgeries
- Radiation - tear gland damage
Riverfront Eyecare determines the cause of your dry eyes during an exam and then prescribes the right solution.
How are dry eyes diagnosed?
Your Riverfront Eyecare optometrist performs a comprehensive eye exam that generally includes lifestyle assessment, symptom review, an internal and external eye exam, and tests that evaluate your tear quantity and quality.
Additionally, you may have a fluorescein eye stain test, which can identify corneal abrasions and other issues that cause dry eye syndrome.
What is the treatment for dry eyes?
After diagnosis, your Riverfront Eyecare optometrist designs the best treatment plan for you. If you have an underlying condition, it's important to address that first because it may resolve your dry eyes.
Otherwise, the first line of treatment is often using artificial tears eye drops. If artificial tears aren't helping, your optometrist may prescribe eye drops that boost your natural tear production or antibiotics to address inflammation.
In some cases, conserving tears by blocking your tear ducts with tiny punctal plugs is the best approach to dry eye syndrome. In the most severe cases of dry eyes, your optometrist could recommend a surgical procedure to permanently close your tear ducts.
Lifestyle changes, like reducing screen time and wearing blue light glasses, can help with dry eyes as well.
Riverfront Eyecare features highly experienced dry eye specialists, and they are ready to help you find relief. Book your appointment by calling either of the offices or booking an appointment online.