Dry Eye Care in Fort Myers

Dry Eye

What is Dry Eye Syndrome?

Dry eye syndrome is a source of significant discomfort for millions of Americans. At Eye Centers of Florida, we have all the resources you’ll need to address your dry, irritated eyes — from experienced doctors to advanced treatment options.

Dry eye syndrome is a progressive, chronic disease that usually doesn’t go away on its own. Our team is here to help you treat your dry eyes before they cause you additional pain or discomfort, or in some cases, permanent damage.

Each time you blink, a thin film of tears spreads across the surface of your eyes. Your tears are made up of three layers consisting of oil, water, and mucus. This solution makes the surface of the eye clear and smooth, as well as washes away any dirt or debris.

When your tears aren’t being produced in the proper quantity or quality needed to moisturize and lubricate your eyes, you can experience dry eye syndrome.

A healthy balance between tear production, evaporation, and drainage is essential for keeping our eyes healthy and functioning properly. Dry eye syndrome occurs when this delicate balance is disrupted, causing pain and discomfort. It is estimated that 4.88 million Americans 50 and older have dry eyes, making this a very common condition.

What Causes Dry Eye?

Dry eye can be caused by both biological and environmental factors.

Dry eye syndrome is most commonly caused by a disruption in the secretion of fluids from the lacrimal gland (tears), meibomian (oil), and conjunctiva (mucus). Environmental factors including excessive heat, dry air, wind, chemical vapors, and smoke can play a key role in the pain and discomfort of dry eye, as can eyelid hygiene.

Health conditions that affect our tear gland or tear ducts — which can include autoimmune diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis — can lead to decreased tear secretion and chronic dry eye.

Long-term contact lens wear and surgery that involves cutting or removing tissue from the cornea can also be responsible for cases of dry eye syndrome.

If you think you might be suffering from dry eye syndrome, schedule a consultation today.

The Signs and Symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome

There are a few steps you can take to help prevent dry eye syndrome. These preventative methods consist of life-style changes that are not only good for your eyes, but also for your overall health.

  • Stinging, scratchy, or burning eyes
  • Stringy mucus in or around the eyes
  • Excessive eye irritation from smoke or wind
  • Excessive tearing
  • Discomfort when wearing contact lenses
  • Heavy eyelids
  • Eye strain
  • Tired eyes
  • Trouble focusing

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, you may have dry eye syndrome. However, some of these symptoms and signs can be related to other eye problems as well. It’s best to have your eyes checked by an experienced eye doctor at Eye Centers of Florida who can help you determine the cause of your eye problems and create a personalized treatment plan.

How Can I Prevent Dry Eye Syndrome?

There are a few steps you can take to help prevent dry eye syndrome. These preventative methods consist of life-style changes that are not only good for your eyes, but also for your overall health.

  • Take breaks from doing up-close work, such as using a computer or reading
  • Avoid conditions that can aggravate or increase your dry eye symptoms like wind, smoke, chemical vapors, dry heat, hair dryers, and air conditioning
  • Use a humidifier indoors to keep moisture in the air
  • Protect your eyes from the elements by using swimming or ski goggles, wrap-around glasses, or other protective eyewear
  • Use artificial tears to keep your eyes moist
  • Use re-wetting drops if you wear contact lenses
  • Make sure you’re keeping your eyelids and the area around your eyes clean — some microorganisms are linked with dry eye syndrome
  • See your doctor at Eye Centers of Florida for contact lenses that are approved for dry eye syndrome

Dry eyes are not always preventable. For the people who are at a higher risk of developing dry eye, like those with autoimmune disorders, attempts to prevent dry eyes may not always be successful.

Fort Myers Dry Eye Treatment

Treatment of dry eye syndrome can take many forms; some are very simple and effective, while others require the careful attention of a qualified eye doctor or ophthalmologist. The first step in getting help is to have your eyes evaluated by an Eye Centers of Florida doctor.

Treatments that your doctor may recommend are:

  • Over-the-Counter Eye Drops: Adding artificial tears to your eyes can supplement your natural tear production.
  • Prescription Eye Drops: When over-the-counter eye drops are not effective due to the underlying cause of dry eye syndrome, medication may be required to solve the problem. Your doctor may recommend using stronger prescription drops such as Restasis®.
  • Conserving Tears by Blocking Drainage: Conserving your eye’s tears by blocking the channels that drain eye moisture is a common treatment for dry eyes. With a simple procedure, your doctor can temporarily or permanently block your eye’s drainage system to slow or prevent moisture from leaving your eyes.

Why Eye Centers of Florida is the Right Choice for Dry Eye Care

Millions of Americans suffer from dry eye syndrome, but treatment is available. Eye Centers of Florida has a long history of treating patients who are tired of enduring the pain caused by dry eye. When you visit one of our 8 Southwest Florida locations, our experienced doctors will discover the root of your dry eye and help determine the best treatment methods for your specific needs.

If you’re ready to rid yourself of the discomfort caused by dry eye, call Eye Centers of Florida at 888.EYE.APPT to make an appointment.

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