Itchy Eyes v. Dry Eye Syndrome
Summertime is the prime season for red, itchy eyes caused by allergies. Pollens and other irritants in the dry air can cause your immune system to react by producing histamines, in turn causing your eyes to become inflamed and uncomfortable. However, not all symptoms of itchy, watery eyes are due to allergies, and it’s important to understand the difference so you can receive appropriate medical treatment.
Pay Attention to Your Eyes AFTER Allergy Season
Allergies typically come and go with the seasons, and itchy eyes are often paired with a stuffy or runny nose and eyes. You may have some idea of what allergens trigger your symptoms, and by avoiding these triggers and using ocular allergy medications, you can typically resolve or improve your symptoms. There are good ocular allergy eye drop medications and systemic medications that alleviate the itch but will often actually make your eyes even dryer. If your eyes are still red, itchy, and irritated after allergy season is over, you may have a chronic condition known as Dry Eye Syndrome.
Related Read: Do You Have Dry Eye Syndrome? Signs to Look For
Allergy Medication Won’t Help with Dry Eye Syndrome
Many patients suffer from Dry Eye Syndrome for years before getting a professional evaluation. They know they have an ongoing problem, but never think to have it checked by a qualified eye doctor. That’s because the symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome commonly mimic other conditions like digital eye strain, contact lens overwear, and yes, even allergies.
Related Read: Dry Eye Syndrome: The Sneakiest Eye Disease We Know
Get the Correct Diagnosis of Dry Eye Using Advanced Testing and Knowledge
Make an appointment at Brill Eye Center to if you have symptoms of watery, itchy eyes. We emphasize advanced technological diagnosis and treatment of Dry Eye Syndrome as well as eye allergies. Dr. Brill will evaluate your individual ocular condition using an instrument that uses a high-powered microscopic view. Among the other tests that will be performed will be an analysis of your blink pattern, lipid layer thickness, eyelid seal, tear composition, photos of your Meibomian oil gland structure, and grading of the amount of eye inflammation you have. Many times we find that Dry Eye Syndrome is actually MGD (Meibomian Gland Dysfunction) which requires different treatment methods, like the LipiFlow Thermal Pulsation procedure.
If you are a candidate for this innovative 12-minute treatment, the solution to the root cause of your dry eye may be a phone call away. LipiFlow melts and evacuates the hardened oil in the oil glands and wicks it away. This allows for fresh oil to be secreted from the now-functioning meibomian glands, which in turn protects the watery layer from evaporating that generally causes that dry eye feeling. Eighty-six percent of the time, dry eye symptoms are caused by an oily or lipid layer tear film deficiency that can be remediated efficiently and quickly using LipiFlow.
Dry Eyes Can Be the Sign of a Chronic and Progressive Disease
These are your eyes we’re talking about! Dry Eye Syndrome and MGD can lead to constant annoying ocular pain, corneal ulcers, scarring of the eyelid margins, and permanent visual loss. Once properly diagnosed, there are a variety of treatments that can provide you with relief, including lubricating or anti-inflammatory eye drops, therapeutic contact lenses and non-surgical medical procedures like LipiFlow. Dr. Brill will also provide guidance for healing, ongoing professional care, and minimizing your symptoms to prevent further progression of your condition.