We asked Dr. Palumbo a few questions about Dry Eye and here is what she had to say.
Q: Is it true that Dry Eye symptoms seem to be more severe in the winter than in the warmer spring and summer months?
A: Yes dry eye can be worse in the winter because of the hot air heating systems in homes and cars. Also in the summer, the humidity helps moisten eyes.
Q: When should a person come in to see their optometrist for Dry Eye symptoms and when is it enough to take care of this problem yourself?
A: People should seek professional help when symptoms are bothersome and unable to treat with over the counter medications.
Q: What is the examination like to determine whether someone is suffering from Dry Eyes?
A: One of the most informative parts of an exam to evaluate for dry eye is found in the patient history. Common complaints include tearing, itching and burning.
Q: I have a friend in whose eyes are frequently overly watery. That isn't Dry Eye, is it?
A: Redness, blurry vision, and foreign body sensation can all indicate Dry Eye. During an eye exam, the bulbar conjunctiva, corneal surface, lids and lashes are examined to confirm the diagnosis.
Q: What are the typical treatments used to help people suffering from Dry Eyes?
A: There are many of treatment options for dry eyes. Some include artificial tears, tear gel and ointment, tear plugs, restasis or xiidra. Some non conventional treatment options include, taping eyes while sleeping because some people sleep with them partially open which dry out their eyes and having a humidifier in the bedroom while sleeping is also helpful.
Q: Are some people more prone to having Dry Eyes than others?
A: Women tend to be more prone to dry eyes than men. Hormones, medication, allergies, environment and weather all contribute to dry eyes.
Q: Do you have any recommendations for people to help them avoid Dry Eye issues?
A: The key to avoid dry eye issues is to be proactive. Have an Eye Exam and get treated before symptoms snowball. It may be as simple as using eye drops at home.