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Chronic Dry Eye Syndrome and Springtime Allergies

Spring is beautiful. Birds are chirping, flowers are blooming, and the sun is shining. However, your vision may be blurred by the abundance of grass, wheat, ragweed, and pollen in the air. An estimated 3.2 million Americans suffer from keratoconjuctivitis sicca, or dry eye syndrome, and its symptoms can be exacerbated by these common irritants.

Dry eye syndrome (DES) is a real condition that’s often mistaken for seasonal allergies. When someone suffers from dry eye, their body is no longer producing an adequate amount of tears due to inflammation in the nerves of the eye. This affects the eye’s ability to self-lubricate, and wears away at the shield that tear production creates.

Patients suffering from dry eye mostly complain about eyes burning, feeling itchy, or feeling like something may be caught in their eye. These symptoms are often worsened by environmental issues such as heat and air-conditioning, driving with the windows open, too much time in front of television and computer screens, and some medications.

It is important to visit your ophthalmologist if you are worried that you may have developed dry eye syndrome. There are many treatment options available, for example:

  1. Artificial tears, or “eye drops.” Artificial tears help sooth the eye and provide it with temporary relief.
  2. RESTASIS® is a unique type of eye drop that helps combat DES by helping the eye produce its own tears. RESTASIS® won’t necessarily cure DES, but it is a considerably effective medication. Visit your doctor to discuss whether or not this medication is right for you.
  3. For patients suffering from extreme cases of DES, there are treatments like punctal plugging. This is when the gland that drains tears from the eye is either temporarily or permanently plugged with a liquid injection. This treatment keeps more tears on the eye aiding in lubrication and nourishment.
If your are suffering from dry eye symptoms during the spring months, it its important to schedule an appointment to visit you eye doctor. Ignoring chronic dry eye can have damaging effects in the long term, and can eventually impair vision.

Ophthalmologist in Winchester

For more information on chronic dry eye care and RESTASIS® contact us to schedule a consultation. Our offices are located in Winchester, serving Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland.  We can be reached at (540) 722-6200.  We look forward to meeting you!

Posted in: Dry Eye Care/Restasis

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