Q: Is it true that Dry Eye symptoms seem to be more severe in the winter than in the warmer spring and summer months?
Yes. Dry air during winter/heaters blowing in the car and at home can aggravate dry eye symptoms.
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?
All dry eye symptoms should be examined by an optometrist. Dry eye is multifactorial (ie it can be induced by allergies, systemic conditions, medications, hormonal etc) so it’s best to discuss with the od what the possible causes are and to determine appropriate therapy. Also not all dry eye drops are made equal so your optometrist can prescribe drops that are best suited for your dry eye condition.
Q: What is the examination like to determine whether someone is suffering from Dry Eyes?
There are several dry eye test, such as TBUT (tear break up time), Fluorescene staining test, assessment of your meibomian gland (oil producing glands for your tear layer) to name a few. Based on these results in combination with patient symptoms can be indicative of what type of dry eye the patient is suffering from as well as the severity.
Q: I have a friend in whose eyes are frequently overly watery. That isn’t Dry Eye, is it?
Evapourative dry eye induces symptoms of excessive tearing. It’s like the tear layer is drying up which sends signals to your brain to increase reflex tearing on the surface of your eyes.
Q: What are the typical treatments used to help people suffering from Dry Eyes?
Management of meibomian glands with hot compresses, and lid care regime, dry eye drops, increasing omega-3 in your diet, using a mild steroid or even under going a Blephex treatment to clean and stimulate you meibomian glands are just a few of the treatment options that are available. Your optometrist will advise you on the appropriate treatment regime based on your diagnosis.
Q: Are some people more prone to having Dry Eyes than others?
Yes. Generally those that suffer with allergies, or have systemic inflammatory diseases like arthritis and sjogrens’, or those who use the computer or digital devices often and even contact lens wearers tend to be more susceptible to dry eye symptoms.
Q: Do you have any recommendations for people to help them avoid Dry Eye issues?
Regular eye checks and addressing dry eye symptoms early on can help to address problems.
If you or a loved one has low vision, don’t despair. Be sure to consult with your eye doctor about the best course of action to take to simplify life with low vision.