Q&A for Dry Eyes
Q: Is it true that Dry Eye symptoms seem to be more severe in the winter than in the warmer spring and summer months?
A: Dry eye symptoms can be worse in the winter do to a couple of factors.
First the air is less humid in the winter and secondly we run our heaters in the winter which in turn dries the air out even further. On a side note, many people will burn fires to stay warm. This has the potential to increase eye allergies. When we then take otc allergy medicines they can then create dry eye problems.
Q: When should a person come in to see their optometrist for Dry Eye symptoms and when is it enough to take care of this problem yourself?
A: If you are using over the counter lubricating drops more than twice a day with little or no relief, then you should visit your Optometrist.
Q: I have a friend in whose eyes are frequently overly watery. That isn’t Dry Eye, is it?
A: Many times water eyes are a sign of dry eyes. Many times when we discuss with a patient that they have dry eyes we should actually say they have tear film instability. One of the most common symptoms of a poor tear film is watery eyes.
Q: What are the typical treatments used to help people suffering from Dry Eyes?
A: Treatment for dry eyes can involve many different approaches based on the type and severity of dryness the patient is experiencing. Treatment can range from preservative-free lubricating drops to prescription eye drops to warm compresses to prescription oral meds to oral omega fatty acids to punctal plugs and sometimes even minor surgical therapies.
Q: Are some people more prone to having Dry Eyes than others?
A: Absolutely. People who work in front of a computer. Students are one of the fastest growing segments of dry eye patients. The reason is that many schools have gone to computers in every class and then when students are in their down time they are usually playing on their phones. Patients who take medicines on a continual basis. Females who are peri and postmenopausal. There are many more demographics of patients that are affected by Dry Eye Syndrome.
Q: What causes Dry Eyes in contact lenses and what can be done?
A: Many contacts create dry eye problems by acting like a sponge and literally absorbing the tears that are made. However, ith new technologies of lens material, this problem has reduced drastically. One way to really lessen the impact of contact lens induced dryness is to switch to a daily contact lens. That is a contact lens that is thrown away each night before bedtime and a brand new contact lens is used in the morning.
Q: Do you have any recommendations for people to help them avoid Dry Eye issues?
A: In today’s world it is extremely difficult to avoid Dry Eye issues because of the way we live our lives. What I mean by this is that everyone uses some sort of digital device, most people take some type of medicine that can cause dryness (anti-anxiety meds, anti-diabetic meds, anti-psychotic meds, decongestants, anti-allergy meds, etc.), many people suffer from different medical conditions that can cause dryness, everything from allergies to autoimmune diseases to diabetes.