Dry eye disease occurs when your eyes do not produce a sufficient amount of tears, or when your tears evaporate too quickly from the surface of your eyes. The disease commonly causes red eyes, eye fatigue, a gritty or scratchy sensation in the eyes, light sensitivity and blurry vision.
If you have developed any of these symptoms, it is likely you are treating them with the use of over-the-counter artificial tears. You may not have any plans to see a doctor.
However, there are certain circumstances in which only a professional can give you relief from the irritating, painful symptoms of dry eye disease. Read on as the team at Berks Eye Physicians and Surgeons reveals three scenarios in which it would be wise to consult with a doctor about your dry eye symptoms.
Your Symptoms Are Not Improving
You might find that your eyes feel temporarily dry because of situations or factors like allergies, airplane travel or prolonged periods of time staring at a computer screen. Using artificial tears or making some lifestyle changes (e.g., spending less time on the computer) may provide the relief you need from these symptoms.
However, the cause of dry eye symptoms is not always so innocuous. More serious factors, such as a problem with your tear glands, may be to blame. If dry eye disease is not addressed, it could eventually lead to complications that impair your vision.
Should you find that your dry eye symptoms do not go away within a week or two, it is best to see a doctor to determine the underlying cause of your symptoms.
You Are Experiencing New Symptoms
Speaking of underlying causes of dry eye disease, certain health conditions can prevent your eyes from making enough tears. For instance, an autoimmune disorder called Sjogren’s syndrome, which attacks the glands that make tears and saliva, can cause dry eye symptoms as well as other systemic symptoms.
If you find that you are experiencing new symptoms like dry mouth, skin rashes or joint pain, in addition to dry eye symptoms, make an appointment with your eye doctor today. He or she can refer you to another specialist if an autoimmune disease is suspected.
Your Symptoms Make It Difficult to Read, Drive or Work
Dry eye symptoms should not interfere with your daily activities, such as reading, driving or working. Treatment solutions are available to give you symptom relief and address the root cause of dry eye disease.
If you find that dry eye symptoms are significantly impacting your day-to-day life, or if you experience depression or anxiety because of your symptoms, it is time to see a doctor.
Contact Berks Eye Physicians and Surgeons Today
Help is only a phone call or email away. To schedule an appointment with our team to discuss your dry eye symptoms, please contact us today.