Dry eye can often cause redness, stinging, burning, and scratchiness, but those aren’t the only uncomfortable symptoms.
Dry eye disease can also lead to blurriness, among several other symptoms. However, it isn’t the sole cause of blurry vision.
What Is Dry Eye Disease?
Dry eye disease is a common condition that occurs when your tears can’t provide adequate lubrication for your eyes. It can happen if you don’t produce enough tears or if the tears you have are of poor quality. The condition can be uncomfortable, causing a stinging or burning sensation in the eyes.
Dry eye disease presents itself through a variety of symptoms. These could be signs of this condition if you’re experiencing dry or irritated eyes. Redness and a burning sensation in the eyes are also common indicators.
Additionally, you might notice fatigue in your eyes after long periods of use, such as after a day spent working on a computer. A gritty feeling, almost as if there’s something in your eye, is another symptom to watch out for.
Finally, if you wear contact lenses and have been experiencing discomfort, this could also be a sign of dry eye disease. It’s important to pay attention to these symptoms and seek professional help to address them promptly.
How Dry Eye Causes Blurry Vision
A variety of factors related to dry eye disease can contribute to blurriness. These include changes to your tear film and cornea, wateriness, eye strain, and the use of contact lenses.
Changes to Your Tear Film
The tear film is a thin layer of tears covering your eyes’ surface. If this film is disrupted, it can lead to dry spots on the cornea, causing blurry vision.
Changes to Your Cornea
Dry eye can lead to dry patches to the cornea, the clear front surface of your eye, which can also result in blurriness.
Dry eyes can cause you to squint or blink more frequently to maintain clarity of vision, resulting in eye strain. Over time, this strain may contribute to blurry vision.
Contact lens wearers may experience increased symptoms of dry eye, including blurriness. It’s because contact lenses can absorb the moisture from your eyes, exacerbating dryness.
Dehydration can directly impact your eyes’ ability to produce tears, leading to dry eyes and potentially causing blurry vision.
Certain health conditions like diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and thyroid disorders can increase your risk of developing dry eye, leading to potential blurry vision.
Treating Dry Eye
Dry eye disease can be an uncomfortable condition, but there are several treatment options available that can provide relief and manage symptoms.
- Preservative-Free Artificial Tears: Over-the-counter eye drops are designed to mimic the lubricating quality of natural tears. They can be used as needed to soothe and moisturize dry eyes.
- Prescription Eye Drops: Medicated eye drops may be recommended for some individuals. These drops provide lubrication, stimulate tear production, and reduce symptoms like redness and inflammation.
- AlumierMD: This customizable, medical-grade skincare product line can work with other dry eye treatments. These products hydrate the skin around the eyes and can enhance the overall effectiveness of the treatment plan.
- Punctal Plugs: In some instances, small devices known as punctal plugs may be inserted into the tear ducts on the eyelids. These plugs help retain moisture on the eyes’ surface by slowing tear drainage.
- LipiFlow: This treatment uses heat and massage to remove blockages from the meibomian glands, allowing them to produce natural oils again. LipiFlow is a quick, in-office procedure that can effectively treat meibomian gland dysfunction.
- IPL (Lumecca): Intense Pulsed Light Therapy (IPL) was originally developed for use in dermatology. Blood vessels around the eye are targeted using light, which decreases inflammation and helps to liquefy blockages in the meibomian glands.
- Nutritional Supplements: Research suggests that supplements like omega-3s and antioxidants can help improve dry eye symptoms. Additionally, increasing water intake and consuming healthy fats, such as fish, almonds, and leafy green vegetables, can be beneficial.
- Moist Heat Compresses: Heat can stimulate oil gland activity and promote oil flow into the eyes, relieving dry eye disease. A moist heated eye compress can assist with dry eye and digital eye strain.
- Radio Frequency (Forma I): Radiofrequency treatment applies heat to the eyelid area, warming the meibomian glands to liquefy any clogged oil inside them.
- Celluma: LED therapy supports the cellular structures in your skin, joints, and muscles to address a number of concerns. Celluma can gently warm eyelids and unclog meibomian glands through LLLT.
- Umay: An at-home solution, Umay masks warm up the eyelids to soothe tired eyes, and then cools them to restore tears.
- Manual expression of the glands in-office: Gentle pressure can be applied by your optometrist to release clogged glands and minimize dry eye.
How to Protect Your Vision
Maintaining the health of your eyes goes beyond treating conditions like dry eye. It also involves preventative measures to help your vision stays sharp. You can take the following steps to protect your vision from potential harm.
Have Regular Eye Exams
Regular eye exams are crucial to maintaining healthy vision. These check-ups help your doctor detect potential issues early and provide appropriate treatment.
Follow the Doctor’s Advice
Always follow your doctor’s advice regarding treatment for dry eye. It might include using prescribed medication, making dietary changes, or using specialized eye care products.
The Importance of Comprehensive Assessment in Dry Eye Disease Management
A comprehensive assessment that pinpoints the condition’s root cause is crucial to effectively managing dry eye disease. This evaluation involves measuring tear production, assessing the rate at which your tears evaporate, and thoroughly examining your contact lenses, including their fit. We can use various diagnostic techniques to identify why your eyes are dry and recommend a treatment plan.