Symptoms and Treatment of Dry Winter Eyes
SALT LAKE CITY – According to the National Eye Institute, five million Americans 50 years and older have dry eye, a chronic and progressive condition in which tears fail to produce normally. Without treatment, dry eye can cause eye infection, scarring and visual impairment. Although typically treated with eye drops, other measures may be necessary.
Symptoms of dry eye include scratchiness, burning, discomfort, excessive tearing and sensitivity to light. Usually brought on by increased age, dry eye can also be caused by certain medications, allergies, chronic inflammation of the eye or changes in nervous, hormonal and immune systems.
Dry eye can interfere with the normal production of tears, which are essential to eye health and protect the eye from debris and infection. The result of diminished tears may be painful and can damage the surface of the eye.
Although dry eye may start as a mild discomfort, it is important to seek treatment because it is a progressive condition that may cause vision problems.
The best way to treat dry eye is early detection. Bala Ambati, M.D., ophthalmologist at the John A. Moran Eye Center at the University of Utah recommends seeing your ophthalmologist once a year for a comprehensive dilated eye exam. The exam will include testing for dry eye and if an issue is found, treatment will be recommended.
“With winter weather, people really feel the effects of dry eye because heaters can intensify the problem. Further, cold air holds less humidity. It’s important to see your eye doctor if you’re experiencing symptoms of the condition. A humidifier in your bedroom or on your furnace can be helpful. Your doctor may have you take artificial tears or gels, recommend nutritional supplements, such as flaxseed oil or fish oil, prescribe medication, insert plugs into your eyelids or recommend certain in-office procedures in some cases,” said Ambati.
To make an appointment at the John A. Moran Eye Center, please call 801-581-2352.
About the author:
Jana Cunningham is a Public Relations Specialist at the Moran Eye Centercomments powered by Disqus