According to the National Eye Institute (NEI), nearly five million Americans above 50 years of age suffer from dry eye. It’s a startling number, but a reminder of how common dry eye is, and how many people are affected. Luckily, treatment is available and most options are successful. If you feel you may be a victim of dry eye, a visit to your Annapolis, MD eye center may be in order.
But what are the dangers of leaving dry eye untreated? Who is most as risk? What should you look for? These are all common questions when it comes to dry eye, and they’re all answered below:
The Risk Factor
Although dry eye can inflict anyone of any age, there are certain situations where dry eye is more likely. You are more at risk to develop dry eye if:
- You are over the age of 50
- You are a woman who has experienced menopause, especially prematurely
- You are a woman on hormone replacement therapy
- You have had refractive eye surgery (LASIK)
- You have skin disease on or around the eyelid, or eye diseases such as a gland dysfunction
- You have allergies or immune system disorders
This list is not inclusive. If you think you may have dry eye, it’s vital to let your eye care provider know, because untreated chronic dry eye may cause permanent damage to your eye.
Common Dry Eye Symptoms
Know what to look for. If you have any of these common dry eye symptoms, bring them up to your eye specialist:
- stinging or burning eye
- constant feeling of something in the eye
- pain and/or redness in the eye
- not able to produce tears, or producing excess tears followed by few or no tears
- eye fatigue
Even if you are not suffering from dry eye, these symptoms may be caused by another eye disorder which may need treatment by a specialist.
What can my Eye Specialist do for me?
It’s important to know your options when discussing dry eye with your eye specialist. Treatment options for dry eye include:
- Treatment of underlying conditions which may be causing dry eye
- Anti-Inflammatory medications, such as Cyclosporine
- Change of contact lens brand (for contacts wearers)
- Punctal Occulsion surgery, for some cases
The main thing to remember is there are many treatments for dry eye, and they are very successful and accessible treatments.
Let Your Anne Arundel Eye Center Specialist Know About Your Dry Eye
The Anne Arundel Eye Center (AAEC) always welcomes new patients. Led by board certified ophthalmologist Dr. Samuel Boles, AAEC offers complete ophthalmic exams as well as diagnostic pre and post-surgical eye care. AAEC is a regional leader in the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma, cataracts, and dry eye, and our state-of-the-art treatment center is dedicated to making the best eye care accessible to everyone.
If you have any questions about Dry Eye, please contact Dr. Boles, Dr. Kathryn Gurganus Turner, and the eye care specialists here at AAEC by calling 410-224-2010. AAEC is staffed by caring and knowledgeable professionals who will help guide you on your healing journey.