Burning, itching, sensitivity to light… Dry eye may not be a vision-threatening condition, but it can negatively affect your quality of life. This common ocular problem occurs when your natural tears don’t provide adequate lubrication for your eyes.
At least 16 million Americans suffer from chronic dry eye, and millions more experience this aggravating condition when weather conditions change. Here at Eldorado Vision & Optical in McKinney, Texas, our dry eye expert, Stacy Turner, OD, has over 30 years experience helping patients in the suburban Dallas-Fort Worth area overcome the irritation and frustration winter dry eye can cause.
Here’s a closer look at winter dry eye and the solutions that can help you manage or avoid it.
Dry eye is triggered by a lack of tears, which are made up of different substances, including water, oils, and mucus. If your eyes don’t produce sufficient tears, you develop dry eye, which can cause unpleasant symptoms, including:
While everyone gets dry eyes once in a while, for others, the winter can trigger chronic dry eye. The colder, drier air and relative lack of humidity can make your tears evaporate faster, leading you to experience dry eyes more frequently.
Whether your eyes are only dry in the winter or they’re dry all year round, Dr. Turner and the team at Eldorado Vision & Optical have treatment solutions that can ease the uncomfortable symptoms of this irritating condition and counteract its underlying cause.
Many people develop dry eye as a result of meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), which causes your tears to evaporate too quickly. The LipiScan® Dynamic Meibomian Imager complements Dr. Turner’s diagnosis of MGD by allowing her to directly examine the health of your meibomian glands using near-infrared illumination.
For mild cases of dry eye, over-the-counter (OTC) artificial tears can provide much-needed lubrication to ease your symptoms. Look for preservative-free tears so you can apply them as often as needed. Be sure to avoid products that say they remove redness.
If OTC drops don’t provide enough relief, or if your dry eye is triggered by a condition that requires a different treatment approach, Dr. Turner may prescribe eye medications, such as cyclosporine or lifitegrast. Dry eye medications may be used to stimulate or supplement your natural tear production or minimize the inflammation dry eye causes.
For patients with moderate to severe MDG, LipiFlow by Johnson & Johnson Vision offers a drug-free way to improve the function of your meibomian glands and correct dry eye. This safe, effective therapy gently heats and massages the gland to improve the quality of your meibomian secretions.
This quick, in-office procedure begins by administering numbing eye drops to keep you comfortable. Then, she places a contoured eyepiece over each eye that gently massages and heats the dysfunctional glands, helping to remove obstructions and improve tear quality.
Ready to say goodbye to winter dry eye? Contact Dr. Turner at Eldorado Vision & Optical by calling our McKinney, Texas, office at 972-318-2574. You can also request an appointment online at your convenience.