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If you're struggling with the common condition known as dry eye, you may be overflowing with questions such as "What is dry eye," "What causes dry eye," and "How can I obtain relief?" Here at Lock Family Eye Care Center, we can provide those answers, along with effective remedies and recommendations for your dry eyes. Here are the answers to some frequently asked dry eye questions at our West Des Moines optometry center.
Dry eye is more than just a vague description; it's an actual medical syndrome.Normally, the cornea is covered with a three-layered tear film of mucin, water, and oil. If there's not enough of this substance, or if the balance of ingredients is off, you may suffer from chronically dry eyes.
Insufficient tear production may be related to aging, autoimmune diseases such as Sjogren's syndrome, medications known to have a drying effect, windy environments, and infrequent blinking associated with extended computer use (which also appears to reduce mucin levels). A lack of oil in the tear film may be due to blocked meibomian glands in the eyelid.
Pay attention to common dry eye symptoms such as itching, tiredness, redness, blurred vision, and a persistent "foreign body sensation" in the eye. Light sensitivity and stringy mucus in the corners of the eyes are other signals that you may have a dry eye problem. Your eyes may even water in reaction to their discomfort.
Dry eye should be dealt with as early as possible. Untreated, the chronic dryness can expose the corneas to infectious agents and damaging foreign bodies. You may even end up with corneal scarring that reduces your eyesight.
Our optometrists, Dr. Michael Lock and Dr. Jenessa Lock, can analyze your tear film to see whether it's unbalanced, while also evaluating the volume of tears your eyes are producing. At the same time, we will ask your about your medical history, current medications, environment and lifestyle to sleuth out your particular dry eye triggers.
Treatment for your dry eye symptoms will depend on their underlying causes. We may recommend procedures to unblock clogged meibomian glands to restore normal oil production, for instance, or we may suggest changes in the medical regimen managed by your doctor. Artificial tears and medicated eye drops can soothe and hydrate dry eyes, while modifying your work environment and computer habits can also help.
Lock Family Eye Care is happy to give you the answers you need to your dry eye dilemma. Call 515-267-1312 today for an evaluation! We look forward to meeting with you.
101 Jordan Creek Pkwy # 12190 West Des Moines, IA 50266
*M-F, we take the last appointment at 5:40pm