Are your eyes constantly irritated and scratchy? Or do you seem to have blurry vision at times during the day? If so you may be experiencing dry eye. Dry eye is a very common condition for eyes to have, especially when patients are over 60. Dry eye can be caused by a variety of conditions, not only age. If your eyes are feeling dry and scratchy on a regular basis you will want to come in and see our optometrist in Petaluma at our practice, Dr. Shipley & Associates.
At our eye care practice we are very happy to have three top-notch optometrists available to help our patients. Our optometrists are: Dr. Les Shipley; Dr. Margot Shipley; and Dr. Nicole Wood. Dry eye in itself is not a serious eye condition. However, if the condition is allowed to persist the patient may develop scratching or other damage to the cornea. Tears are needed to nourish and cleanse the eye. They help to keep the surface of the eyes smooth and clear. Excess tears will leave the eye through small drainage ducts of the eyelids. The good news is that dry eye can generally be very easily treated by our optometrist in Petaluma. Dry eye is generally caused by one of two situations; either the eye is not producing enough tears, or the quality of tears that is being produced is inferior in some manner.
Dry eye can also be caused by environmental conditions such as wind and dry climates. When you have dry eyes your eyes may feel irritated, scratchy, burning, or you may feel as though you have something in your eyes. Your eyes may sometimes water excessively and you may experience blurred vision. If dry eye is allowed to progress to a certain state your vision may be impaired. Treatment will aim to restore or maintain the normal amount of tears found in your eye. This will minimize dryness and discomfort. Hormonal changes can also cause dry eye, and is often the course of dry eye in women. Medications can also cause this problem including blood pressure medications and antidepressants. Dry eye can be treated with over-the-counter teardrops, prescription medications and eye drops, and even with minor eye surgery if necessary. This surgery can either put removable silicone plugs into the tear ducts, or close the tear ducts permanently. Our optometrist in Petaluma will be able to accurately diagnose your dry eye condition and advise you as to the best treatment options.