Chronic Dry Eyes Symptoms
According to a study cited by the American Optometric Association (AOA), more than 16 million Americans suffer from dry eye disease (DED). The discomfort and irritation of dry eye can seriously impact your quality of life, which is why our Chicago, IL vision doctors offer chronic dry eye treatment and tips for prevention and management.
That study noted that an estimated 6 million people experience dry eye symptoms but don’t even realize they suffer from chronic dry eye. Dr. Daniel Tepper and the team at Wicker Park Eye Center would like to go over some of the common symptoms of chronic dry eye. This should help you know if you suffer from this condition.
Stinging or Burning in the Eyes
When your eyes lack moisture, you’re likely going to experience serious discomfort of the eyes. It will feel better to keep your eyes shut to lock in whatever moisture is present. If you often notice a stinging or burning sensation of the eyes, you may suffer from chronic dry eye.
Gritty Feeling in the Eyes
Many people who suffer from chronic dry eye experience a gritty sensation in their eyes during a flare. It might feel like there’s a small speck of dirt or a grain of sand in the eye even though there isn’t one. This is because the eyes are extra sensitive when they’ve been deprived of moisture.
As you deal with a dry eye attack, it’s not uncommon for your eyes to turn red and become discolored. This is a natural response to your eyes becoming irritated and inflamed. The redness may persist until your eyes get the moisture they lack.
Discomfort While Wearing Contact Lenses
If you have ever experienced a dry eye attack while wearing contact lenses, you know just how uncomfortable it can be. With dry eye, wearing contacts can be downright painful. You’ll want to take your contacts out rather than keep them in because the discomfort is so bad.
Excessive Tearing of the Eyes
It may seem antithetical, but sometimes a dry eye attack can cause your eyes to tear up excessively. This is because your eyes are trying to restore moisture, yet the tears simply do not remain in place. This could be a sign of poor tear composition preventing you from experiencing relief.
Environmental Conditions That Can Trigger Dry Eye
We tell many dry eye patients who come to our Chicago eye center that they can avoid flare ups by noting their environment. Certain environmental conditions can trigger attacks of dry eye, or exacerbate a current flare up.
Wherever you are, be mindful of the following:
- Arid places
- Windy places
- Dusty places
- Smoky places
If you suffer from dry eye symptoms, do your best to avoid these kinds of environments, or at least be aware that being in these places can cause dry eye.
Chronic Dry Eye Treatments Are Available
While over-the-counter eye drops can help fight dry eye, professional treatment is available. If you suffer from any of the above symptoms, be sure to stop by our practice. During a consultation, we can discuss different types of treatments that can alleviate the symptoms of dry eye and improve the hydration of your eyes.
Learn More About Treating Dry Eye
For more information about dry eye and how it can be diagnosed and treated, be sure to contact the vision doctors at Wicker Park Eye Center. You can reach our practice in Chicago by phone at (773) 376-2020.