We diagnose and treat dry eyes to help bring you lasting relief!
Do you feel a need to rub your eyes constantly? Do your eyes look red and always feel scratchy? You may have Dry Eye Syndrome, officially termed Keratoconjunctivitis sicca. This annoying condition can cause symptoms that range from mild discomfort to more extreme pain. With dry eyes, you may also find it impossible to wear contact lenses comfortably. At The Vision Centers, we’ll examine your eyes thoroughly to diagnose Dry Eye Syndrome, and we’ll work together with you to find the most appropriate remedy. Serving patients in our offices in Summerlin, Seven Hills, Northwest and Southwest Las Vegas, dry eyes are a common complaint in our arid climate.
Common Symptoms & Diagnosis of Dry Eye Syndrome
- Burning feeling
- Chronic sensation of scratchiness
- A feeling that sand or grit is in your eyes
- Watery eyes (due to dry eyes over-stimulating the water part of your tear composition)
- Inability to wear contact lenses
If you report these symptoms at your comprehensive eye examination, with Dr. Schneider, Dr. Clark or Dr. Podloski, in our greater Las Vegas offices, this may be sufficient for diagnosing Dry Eye Syndrome. A Schirmer test may also be performed to check for this condition, which entails placing a thin strip of filter paper on the edge of your eye to measure the quantity of tears.
Causes of Dry Eyes
Dry eyes can be caused by a wide variety of reasons, and every case is unique. By determining the cause of your dry eyes, our optometrist will be able to personalize the most effective treatment for your individual condition. While there is no foolproof cure for this irritating condition, we will offer many strategies that are successful at alleviating the bothersome symptoms. Causes include:
- Dry eyes can be the result of a variety of environmental or health risk factors, such as:
- Aging, particularly with females
- Hormone replacement therapy
- Asian ethnicity
- Smoking, or being around smokers
- Wearing contact lenses
- Spending a lot of time in atmospheres with low-humidity, very high temperatures, severe winds or pollution
- Extended time staring at a computer screen or book without blinking
- An abnormality in your conjunctival surface, or a disorder of your tear-producing glands
- Specific medications, such as antihistamines, antidepressants, chemotherapy, birth control pills, diuretics for high blood pressure and drugs for Parkinson’s disease
- Some diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, hepatitis C, HIV infection, sarcoidosis, Sjogren’s syndrome, vitamin A deficiency and specific hormone deficiencies
- A diet that is rich in omega-6 fatty acids and low in omega-3 fatty acids
Dry Eye Treatment in Southwest Las Vegas
A variety of self-help solutions may bring you genuine relief. These include strategies such as using a home humidifier and/or air filter. When spending time outdoors, sunglasses will also help, as they block your eyes from wind and dust. Over-the-counter medicines, such as artificial tears eye drops and ointments are also highly effective. Hot compresses may stimulate your natural tears, as well as drinking extra water to stay hydrated. If your dry eyes are the result of sleeping with eyelids slightly open, special tape or plastic shields may be used to cover your eyes as you doze.
When self-help remedies don’t do the trick, a range of medicinal treatments may be recommended. These include prescription drugs, and tear inserts that are worn like contact lenses and help enhance the protective lubrication over your eyes.
To help alleviate your dry eyes, we also conduct minor outpatient procedures in our offices in Seven Hills, Summerlin, Southwest and Northwest Las Vegas, NV. Punctal plugs may be inserted into your tear ducts to block normal tear drainage, which allows more moisture to remain on your eyes.
Possible Complications of Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry eyes may complicate some of your daily tasks, such as reading, driving and watching TV. With severe cases, an uncommon possibility involves thinning and scarring of your cornea, and a higher risk of corneal infections or inflammation. Yet as annoying as Dry Eye Syndrome is – you are typically not at an increased risk of long-term vision loss.