Dry Eye Treatment Cape Coral
If you’ve been suffering with dry eye or just think you may have it, Elmquist Eye Group can help you find a treatment that will make your daily discomfort a thing of the past.
Research has shown that, for most people, dry eye is caused by the evaporation of tears, which naturally contain water and oil. When our tears don’t have enough oil, they evaporate faster than they should. Another cause of dry eye is water deficiency, which means the eye does not produce enough tears.
You may have attributed your symptoms to allergies, environmental factors, medications, too much computer use, etc., when dry eye syndrome is the real culprit.
Common symptoms of dry eye include:
- Watery eyes
- Foreign body sensation
- Sandy or gritty sensation in the eye
- Sensitivity to light
- Intermittent blurred vision
- Eye fatigue
Dry eye can occur at any age, but is more common in adults over the age of 50. It also seems to be more common in women than in men. Some medications may decrease tear production and cause dry eyes. There are also certain conditions, such as stroke or Bell’s palsy, that make it difficult to close the eyes, causing tears to evaporate quickly and dry out the eyes. There are many other reasons that cause dry eye to occur.
Dry Eye Diagnosis
A comprehensive eye exam at Elmquist Eye Group can determine if the symptoms you have are related to dry eyes.
Your eye doctor will listen to your concerns and confirm the diagnosis of dry eye syndrome after performing one or more tests. We will typically examine the front of your eyes with a special microscope, called a slit lamp.
Other tests may include inspecting the amount, thickness and stability of the eye’s tear film, examining the conjunctiva for dryness, and checking to see if the cornea has dried out or become damaged.
We may also recommend a TearLab Osmolarity test to help us assess the severity of your dry eye syndrome. The TearLab is performed by collecting a tiny sample of one of your tears, one that’s smaller than the period at the end of this sentence. The procedure is painless and takes seconds to perform. The sample is then tested to determine the salt content in your tears.
Elmquist Eye Group has also incorporated the InflammaDry diagnostic test. Dry eye syndrome is a common inflammatory disease of the eye. Patients suffering from certain autoimmune disorders such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sjogrens Syndrome, and Rosacea can now be tested to help the physician determine if inflammation is the cause of the dryness and how best to treat them.
In patients with inflammatory disease, anti-inflammatory therapies may be the alternative to traditional dry eye treatments.
Dry Eye Treatment
Artificial tears and lubricating eye drops and gels (available without a prescription) help provide moisture and lubrication to the surface of the eye.
If you experience dry eyes mainly while reading or watching TV, taking frequent breaks to allow the eyes to rest and become moist and comfortable again is helpful. Closing them every five to 10 minutes and blinking more often may also increase your comfort.
There are certain prescription medications that may also help with dry eye syndrome. And, in more severe cases, autologous serum tears, formulated from your own blood serum, may be recommended. Another method involves closing the ducts that drain tears out of the eye to help conserve your own tears or make artificial tears last longer.
Elmquist Eye Group has served families in Southwest Florida for more than 20 years. E. Trevor Elmquist, DO is a board certified ophthalmologist and has been selected as one of America’s Top Doctors in ophthalmology by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. His partner, Kate Wagner, OD, and associate, Nina Burt, OD, are board certified optometrists who provide a complete range of eye care services.
Although no cure exists for dry eye syndrome, there are many available treatment options in Cape Coral. Call Elmquist Eye Group at (239) 936-2020 to schedule an appointment and start alleviating your discomfort.