Q: Is it true that Dry Eye symptoms seem to be more severe in the winter than in the warmer spring and summer months?
You may notice that your skin becomes dry in the winter months – your eyes are no exception. However, winter does not necessarily mean that your eyes become drier than in the spring or summer. Similar to the drying effect from heaters in the winter, using air conditioners and fans in the summer can evaporate the fluids in your eyes. Furthermore, there is a correlation between spring allergens (i.e. pollen) and dry eye symptoms.
Q: When should a person come in to see their optometrist for Dry Eye symptoms and “when can you take care of the problem yourself?
If your symptoms are relieved with artificial tears, your optometrist will evaluate your eyes on a yearly basis. If however, you are like most people, artificial tears only provide 15-30 minutesemporary relief and then you’re back where you started. If sustained relief is not achieved, come in before your annual exam.
Q: What is the examination like to determine whether someone is suffering from Dry Eyes?
Looking through a microscope, Dr. Yamanaka takes a photo of your eyes and documents any redness, evaluates the quality of your tear film, and checks the cleanliness of your eyelashes. Contrary to popular belief, your eyelashes are not there to make you look beautiful. Your eyelashes are meant to catch debris/dandruff. A majority of the problems occur from clogged eyelid glands that are unable to produce the necessary fluids to keep your eyes feeling moist.
Q: I have a friend in whose eyes are frequently overly watery. That isn’t Dry Eye, is it?
Patients often say, “… but doctor, my eyes are watering. How can they be dry?” Your body recognizes this deficiency, and reflexively tries to help. Unfortunately, it produces more tears than your eye can actually hold. Thus you are constantly wiping the tears that run down your face.
Q: What are the typical treatments used to help people suffering from Dry Eyes?
There are many great options! Some treatments that Dr. Yamanaka recommends is artificial tears, Omgea-3 oils, eyelash cleaners, and treating the clogged glands. And luckily, they all feel so soothing and relaxing.
Q: Are some people more prone to having Dry Eyes than others?
Yes, there are many factors that may increase your risk of Dry Eye including: gender (females are more prone than males), being a contact lens wearer, using digital devices (i.e. cell phone, computer, iPad, laptop), spending time outdoors, and chronological maturing with time.
Q: Do you have any recommendations for people to help them avoid Dry Eye issues?
Digital devices are one of the biggest culprits in today’s world.
Make a conscious effort to perform frequent and “complete” blinks, and Dr. Yamanaka always says “20-20-20.” That means, every 20 minutes spent looking at a digital device should be broken up by looking 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This gives your eyes a “resting break” and reminds you to take those necessary blinks.
Did you know? We use the most up-to-date technology to ensure the best eye care possible.