Good Bye Dry Eyes: Winter Symptoms Can and Should Be Treated
Bend, Ore. (January 10, 2006) - This month, the Oregon Optometric Physicians Association is encouraging people to spot warning signs for dry eyes, a condition that can be heightened during wintertime and can impair vision if left untreated.
Fifty-four-year-old Carolyn Clontz of Bend noticed her eyes were so filmy in the evenings, she couldn't even read a book or grade papers. Clontz, a first grade teacher at Juniper Elementary School also felt her eyes burning during the day at school. She told her optometric physician, Kit Carmiencke, about the problems during a routine eye exam. The doctor diagnosed the cause as dry eyes by doing a series of tests and began treating Carolyn right away.
"Many people have irritated eyes at this time of year and they overcompensate by blinking or rubbing their eyes a lot," said Kit Carmiencke, Bend optometric physician. "They think this is just an annoying condition that they have to live with, when in fact, it can and should be treated."
Carmiencke says people should be on the lookout for the following warning signs:
ˇ Irritated, scratchy or dry feeling
ˇ Burning sensation
ˇ Feeling of a foreign object in the eye
ˇ Blurred vision
ˇ Excessive watering
ˇ Lack of clear or glassy luster to the eye
Carmiencke adds some people with dry eyes may also feel overly tired and/or may be sleeping more than usual.
Carmiencke says it's important to treat the condition because excessive dry eyes can damage eye tissue and possibly scar the cornea, eventually impairing vision. Also, dry eyes can make contact lens wearing more difficult due to increased irritation and a greater chance of eye infection.
The dry eye condition can be aggravated during the winter by drier conditions outside, forced-air heating indoors, and more indoor activities that cause eye strain such as working on the computer, watching television or reading. That's why people who work in offices on the computer all day often have a greater risk of developing dry eyes.
"Unfortunately, dry eyes cannot be cured," add Carmiencke. "But the condition can be treated with increased humidity, over-the-counter or prescription eye drops, nighttime gels, oral medications, and small plugs to slow the loss of tears."
Today, patient Carolyn Clontz is using prescription eye drops to help her dry eyes. "I'm so glad I asked my optometric physician about my dry eyes and am being treated. It's a relief to feel better and know we caught the problem before it turned into something more serious." says Clontz.
Return to the Front News Page
Other News Stories:
Is There a Link Between Car Color and Accidents? - 6/7/2006
Eye exams can catch problems in kids early - 8/9/2004
Does Cigarette Smoking Cause Macular Degeneration? - 3/16/2004
Are Your Soft Contact Lenses Comfortable? - 1/30/2004
New Chesterfield Sunclips - 12/19/2003
Lens replacement material may improve cataract treatment, eliminate bifocals - 11/14/2003
Tight Ties Make IOP Rise - 9/5/2003
Miss TeenŽ USA hopeful shines light on vision problems affecting millions of children - 8/1/2003
AR Coating from Hoya sets new standard in scratch resistance - 3/15/2003
CIBA Vision's Mini Glaucoma Shunt - 2/1/2003
What's your number? Antioxidant measurement technology records nutrition's vitals - 1/23/2003
Americans lack knowledge of ocular hypertension, survey finds - 12/13/2002
Integrated Eyecare Visual Performance and Visual Therapy - 11/12/2002
Cars are higher priority than eyes reveals healthy eyes survey by TLC - 10/1/2002
International survey shows lack of awareness of diabetes severity - 9/1/2002