Dry Eye Syndrome is a common condition that occurs when the eyes don't produce enough tears for adequate lubrication. The tears are crucial to maintaining the health of the front surface of the eye and providing clear vision. Dry eye can be a chronic and typically progressive condition, varying in severity and intensity.
The symptoms of dry eye can range from subtle to severe. They often include a stinging, burning, or scratchy sensation in the eyes. Some people might experience a sensation of something in their eyes, while others might have difficulty wearing contact lenses. In some cases, paradoxically, a person with dry eye might have watery eyes. This is because dryness on the eye's surface might overstimulate tear production as a protective response.
As the seasons change, so too does the environment around us. The weather, the level of humidity in the air, the amount of pollen and allergens - all these factors can significantly impact the severity of dry eye symptoms. In the fall, the air becomes drier and cooler, which can lead to increased evaporation of tears, thus worsening dry eye symptoms.
Next, fall is also a peak season for allergens like ragweed pollen. Exposure to these allergens can cause eye inflammation and worsen dry eye symptoms. The allergic reaction can also cause an overproduction of poor-quality tears that don't effectively lubricate the eye.
Lastly, the increased use of heating systems indoors during the fall can further dry out the air, causing more discomfort for those with dry eye. The heated air can create a harsh environment for the eyes, leading to more tear evaporation and drier eyes.
Fortunately, dry eye is treatable, and there are several treatment options available that can help manage the symptoms and improve the quality of life. Over-the-counter treatments include artificial tears, gels, and ointments that can help replenish the eye's moisture. It's essential to remember that these treatments provide only temporary relief and do not treat the underlying cause of dry eye.
Prescription medications are another option. These include anti-inflammatory drugs, eye inserts that act as artificial tears, and even autologous blood serum drops. In some cases, special contact lenses or minor surgical procedures may be recommended.
Lastly, lifestyle changes and home remedies can also help manage dry eye symptoms. These can include blinking exercises, eyelid cleaning, proper hydration, dietary changes, and using a humidifier, especially during the fall season.
In recent years, two revolutionary treatments have emerged – MiBo Thermoflo and Blephasteam. These treatments have shown promising results in treating dry eye and providing long-term relief.
MiBo Thermoflo is a therapeutic device that uses controlled heat to improve the function of the meibomian glands, which are responsible for producing the oily layer of the tear film. This treatment helps to restore the natural balance of the tear film and improve dry eye symptoms.
On the other hand, Blephasteam is a device that provides moist heat therapy to the eyelids. This therapy helps to unblock the meibomian glands and improve tear quality, thereby alleviating dry eye symptoms.
Does dry eye worsen in the fall? Yes, it can, due to several reasons like drier air, increased allergens, and the use of indoor heating. However, it's essential to remember that there are effective treatment options available to manage this condition.
From over-the-counter artificial tears and prescription medications to revolutionary treatments like MiBo Thermoflo and Blephasteam, there are several ways to combat dry eye. Lifestyle changes and home remedies can also play a significant role in managing dry eye symptoms.
Living with dry eye can be uncomfortable and frustrating, but with the right treatment and management strategies, it is possible to enjoy clear, comfortable vision all year round, even during the challenging fall season.
If you experience dry eye and would like to avoid it worsening in the fall, visit White Plains Eye Care at our clinic in White Plains, New York. We work with our patients by providing quality solutions for your eye care needs. Call 914-732-1732 to schedule an appointment today.