Diagnosis and Treatment 

Dry Eye

Diagnosis and Treatment

Dry Eye

If you feel a stinging or burning sensation in your eyes, you could be suffering from dry eye. Identifying the root cause of your dry eye is crucial to getting the treatment you need to relieve discomfort. At Lemoncelli Eyecare in Nashville, TN, our eye doctor has the expertise and diagnostic technology to diagnose and treat dry eye disease.   

What is dry eye?   

Dry eye disease is a condition in which the eyes don’t produce enough tears, or the tears evaporate too quickly. Dry eye causes symptoms like those of allergies, which is why it is often misdiagnosed. Tears help you see clearly, lubricate your eyes, and protect against infection, so proper tear production and drainage are critical to maintaining optimal eye health and vision.   

What causes dry eye?   

The most common reason people develop dry eye is meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). MGD is an inflammatory disorder of the meibomian glands in your eyelids, which produce lipids that coat your tears to prevent them from evaporating too quickly. When these glands become blocked or clogged with oil, it causes dry eye disease.

Other causes of dry eye include:

  • Hormonal changes caused by pregnancy, use of oral contraceptives, and menopause
  • Certain medications such as antihistamines and decongestants
  • Certain diseases and conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome, arthritis, diabetes, or thyroid problems
  • Blepharitis
  • Exposure to cold, smoke, and dry climates   
  • Activities like driving, reading, computer use, or watching TV cause you to blink less often, and blinking less can also cause dry eye.

What are the symptoms of dry eye?   

The symptoms of dry eye disease can vary from person to person, but some common ones include:

  • Dryness or a gritty sensation in the eyes
  • Burning or stinging sensation in the eyes
  • Redness of the eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Eye fatigue
  • Difficulty wearing contact lenses
  • Watery eyes, which can be a result of the body’s reflex response to dryness

If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to make an appointment with your optometrist immediately.

How is dry eye diagnosed?   

During a comprehensive eye exam at Lemoncelli Eyecare, your eye doctor will perform a series of tests to diagnose dry eye disease. Tests may include evaluating your tear quality, volume, evaporation rate, and chemical composition. After the exam, your doctor will develop a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs with the goal of minimizing discomfort and dryness.

How do you treat dry eye disease?

Treatment for dry eye depends on the severity of the condition and the underlying cause(s). Dry eye can be temporary or chronic. If your dry eye is chronic, our optometrist can recommend treatments to help you maintain optimal eye health, reduce dryness and discomfort, and prevent vision impairment.

Common treatments for dry eye include:

  • Prescription eye drops to reduce inflammation
  • Treating oil glands
  • Blinking exercises or proper eyelid hygiene

If an infection is causing your dry eye symptoms, your eye doctor may also prescribe low-dose antibiotics. In more serious cases where other treatments are ineffective, surgery or therapy may be recommended.

With proper care from an experienced professional, dry eye disease can be managed effectively so that you can enjoy comfortable vision. If you suffer from dry eye, our experts are here to help you determine the underlying cause and find lasting relief. Schedule an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam at our office today.