The health of your eyes can greatly affect your overall quality of life. Discomfort, irritation, and watery eyes can make it difficult to work or enjoy everyday activities. If your eyes are constantly stinging or tearing, you may be suffering from dry eye syndrome. At Beach Eye Medical Group in Huntington Beach, California we specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of range of eye and vision disorders, including dry eye syndrome.
What is Dry Eye Syndrome?
Dry Eye Syndrome is a condition that occurs when our eyes fail to keep themselves adequately lubricated, whether due to an inability to produce enough tears or when those tears evaporate too quickly. It’s estimated that millions of Americans are affected by this condition. In most cases, symptoms are acute and relatively mild – typically soreness, redness, and irritation. However, in more serious cases, dry eyes can be chronic and result in severe pain and/or vision loss.
Common symptoms associated with dry eye include:
- blurred vision, sensitivity to light, and full vision loss in extreme cases
- irritation (scratchiness or the feeling of something in the eye) and redness
- pain and/or burning
- alternations between dryness and watery eyes (as your system tries to flush out perceived irritants)
There can be many causes of dry eye. Environmental factors such as wind, dust, sand, smoke, and other pollutants in the air can contribute to eye irritation, but an underlying medical condition may also be a factor. Dry eye syndrome can arise due to:
- prolonged time focusing (ie. books and computer screens)
- autoimmune disorders
- hormonal changes during pregnancy, menstruation, and menopause
- laser-eye surgery and overuse of contact lens
- side effects from medication
- genetic predispositions
Diagnosis and Treatment
First and foremost, a proper diagnosis of your eye problem is essential. During your appointment at Beach Eye Medical Group, one of our doctors will perform a comprehensive eye exam and review your symptoms. Next, tests can be performed to measure your tear production, as well as the quality of your tears.
Due to different potential underlying causes, treatments can vary. To help alleviate symptoms, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes–such as less screen time, healthier living, or air filters/humidifiers–or prescribe therapeutic remedies, such as artificial tears or prescription eye drops (eg. cyclosporine). In some cases, punctal plugs, or tear duct plugs, may be inserted. A punctal plug is a small silicone device that can be placed in the tear duct to help conserve lubrication.
Why Choose Beach Eye?
If you experience dry eye symptoms, and they continue to persist, it’s important that you speak to an ophthalmologist or optometrist as soon as possible.
At the Beach Eye Medical Group in Huntington Beach, our priority is to provide our patients with the best care available for eye disorders. Having served the residents of Southern California for over 35 years, along with decades of combined experience, our medical team is committed to bringing the forefront of modern medical technology to our practice.