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Does a Doctor Need to See Your Dry Eyes?

It doesn’t matter if your eyes are dry for a few hours or for days at a time, this problem can create an immense amount of frustration. Dry eyes may develop for several reasons. Because it is common to feel a gritty, burning sensation after staring at a screen for too long, many people misperceive their symptoms. While digital eye strain can cause temporary dryness and irritation, frequent bouts with dry eye may indicate a bigger problem, one that would benefit from a thorough exam.

Symptoms of Dry Eye

Dry eyes don’t just feel dry, as the name suggests. True dry eye syndrome can present several different sensations, including:

  • Persistent stinging or burning
  • Visible redness in or around the eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • A gritty or foreign-body sensation, like having sand or dust in your eye
  • Blurred vision
  • Thick mucus on the surface of the eye or along the lashes
  • Excessive tearing
  • Increased discomfort from contact lenses
  • Difficulty driving at night
  • No tears are produced when you feel like crying

Dry eye syndrome is not characterized by any singular symptom. Many people encounter multiple sensations when their tear film is subpar. Depending on the severity of the problem, artificial tears may alleviate discomfort sufficiently. However, persistent or recurrent grittiness and dryness may respond best to professional treatment.

Seeing a Doctor for Dry Eye

A general physician may be somewhat helpful in recognizing dry eye syndrome. However, an eye specialist has additional training that revolves around eye conditions and how to treat them. An ophthalmologist is an eye specialist who has specific clinical experience in the diagnosis and treatment of dry eye syndrome. In our Albany office, we have consulted with people who have relied on eye drops for years and even with some who have received medical treatment but still struggle with uncomfortable symptoms.

One of the primary ways that we treat dry eyes is with Lipiflow. This non-surgical treatment is intended to optimize the function of the Meibomian glands, which are responsible for tear production. In a short treatment, these glands can be cleared of blockages that inhibit the proper ratio of water to oil and mucus in the tear film.

Learn more about treatment for dry eyes. Call our Albany office at 518.475.1515.

Posted in: Dry Eyes

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