Chronic Dry Eye Syndrome is more than just dry eyes.
Host: Welcome to On the Beat everyone. I’m over here with Dr. Ashley Earwood. And we’re talking all about dry eyes and of course she’s from ______ (0:21) Brooks Eye Center. How are you my friend?
Dr. Ashley: I’m good.
Host: Okay dry eyes. What is the symptom of dry eyes? And I know it might sound silly, a silly question because I think dry and itchy or dry eyes means you can’t cry? Am I right?
Dr. Ashley: Yeah. So, sometimes can feel like their eyes are dry. Some other symptoms that people don’t always associate with it are kind of gritty, sandy, burning. Feeling like something’s in your eye. Feeling like you have an eyelash, you can’t get out of your eye and even watering can be a sign of dry eye too.
Host: Okay, now. I will say to you. If I have ever have had that in the past, which feels like sometimes I do, I normally get like warm water and start flushing my eye out because I am that Wikipedia guy, do you know I mean? Is that not such a good thing to be doing?
Dr. Ashley: If you truly have something in your eye we do tell people to flush it out but, for more somethings going on further, sometimes more dry eye treatment wise.
Host: okay. Well let’s talk a little bit about the issues. What are the signs of the dry eye and how does it occur?
Dr. Ashley: So there are two main types of dry eye. There’s aqueous deficient dry eye. So, that’s when your lacrimal gland that produces kind of a water part of your tears, doesn’t produce enough. So you just don’t have enough tears in your eye. The other type is evaporative dry eye. And so you have enough tears but they evaporate off of your eye too quickly. And so we see that a lot with Meibomian gland dysfunction.
Host: What is that?
Dr. Ashley: Meibomian glands, they are the base of your eyelashes. And they kind of produce lipid layer of your tears. It’s like a protected barrier to keep it from evaporating. So if you don’t have that lipid layer, they just evaporate right off your eye. Sometimes they kinda occur individually, but a lot of times it’s a combination of the two.
Host: Really? That’s fascinating. I would always think and I said this to you off camera, if I thought there is something wrong with my eye, I would be the first person maybe flush it out and call my GP. I would never think to have itchy dry eye that I don’t see an optometrist. Why do we have that misconception?
Dr. Ashley: I don’t know. That’s one of the main things that we treat in our clinic and everything.
Host: what are the treatments?
Dr. Ashley: First line of therapy is usually some artificial tears. But you do have to be careful, you can’t just go to Walmart and buy whichever ones. Certain ones have sound effects you want to avoid and everything. So there are certain ones are better than the others.
Host: so, it is like an antibiotic for the ear? Or for the eye I should say?
Dr. Ashely: No, it’s more than artificial tears so kinda rewetting or lubricating drop? And that’s where we usually start and everything. Sometimes allergies are closely associated with dry eye. So, we add in anti-allergy drops as well. Sometimes we need a steroid if it’s really severe kind of a short-term steroid _______ (3:06) down.
Host: Now interesting you say that when you say allergies, do you get these symptoms more at certain times of the year?
Dr. Ashley: You can suffer year-round from it. So, spring and fall probably are more allergy associated you know, it’s cooler, things are blooming out so people are outside more. But winter and summer we have a lot too. Winter the heat is going inside it really dries your eyes out. And then summer, people are sleeping on their ceiling fans, they have the air in their car going. So, that can really dry their eyes out.
Host: and also, they’ll be gathering dust and things out. Cause I have an aircon blowing like no tomorrow. So, it’s really protecting yourself and eyes as well. When you have dry eye, is it irritating? Are you scratching your eye? And probably inflaming and making it worse? Or what’s the sensation feel like so people can understand at home?
Dr. Ashley: yeah. So a lot of times it does feel itchy, feeling like you have to rub it. A lot of times people, even your vision could be a little bit blurry. People think they have to keep blinking their eyes to get things clear. So the burning sensation all that kinda goes along with dry eye.
Host: okay. Very quick. I want to ask you, why did you decide to be an optometrist?
Dr. Ashley: I knew I want it something medical, and I kinda shadowed few different areas and optometrist kinda just clicked.
Host; I have learned so much when we had talked to Dr. Brooks as well. I had no idea that optometry had so much big span. We appreciate you for coming to give more advice. We’re going to find out more about Dr. Ashley…
It is a condition that can include many symptoms that cause discomfort, impair vision and limit your ability to go about your daily life including:
- Watery Eyes
- Light Sensitivity
- Feeling Like Something is in your Eye
- Sandy or Gritty Feeling
- Blurred Vision
- Difficulty Seeing at Night
- Discomfort Wearing Contact Lenses
Don’t Let Dry Eyes Get in Your Way of Life!
Our Dry Eye Specialists Can Help!
Our optometrist specializes in diagnosing and treating chronic dry eye syndrome. We will assess your condition to determine the cause of your dry eyes and then find the best solution to relieve your symptoms and restore comfort to your precious eyes.
Based on your condition and the possible causes, our treatment may involve one of the following courses of action:
- Finding the right brand and formulation of artificial tears or prescription eye drops.
- Prescribing Steroid Eye Drops, Antibiotics or Lubricant Inserts.
- Inserting Punctal Plugs—to plug the tear drainage ducts and keep the tear film intact on the surface of eye.
- Warm compress therapy and meibomian gland expression, an in-office procedure that opensblocked meibomian glands which produce essential oils to lubricate the eyes.
- Medication adjustments.
- Adjusting your contact lens prescription or reducing wear during treatment.
Seeing is Vital to the Quality of your Life
Eyes are important indicators of overall health, and comprehensive eye care goes beyond a prescription for glasses or contact lenses. At Brooks Eye Center & Optical, we take the time to get to know you, your eye care history, and your vision needs. Our optometrists provide the expert care, advice, options, and follow up you need whether you are a new patient or an existing one.
Monday – Friday, from 8:15am to 5:45pm
Cove EyeCare 304 East Highway 190 Copperas Cove, TX 76522
Located in Copperas Cove on the south side of Highway 190 at the corner of Little St, one block east of Pizza Hut, across the highway from Buddy’s Furniture and Wells Laundry