Can Dry Eye Syndrome Damage Your Eyes?

Can Dry Eye Syndrome Damage Your Eyes?

Dry Eye Syndrome is a very common condition among Albertans, with approximately 90% reporting dry eye symptoms. Although this condition is common in Alberta, that doesn’t mean it should be ignored or that you should just get used to the symptoms of dry eye syndrome. Treatment for dry eye syndrome is very important because it helps you to manage painful symptoms and increase eye comfort, but it is also very important for eye health. When dry eye syndrome isn’t addressed, it can cause serious damage to your eyes, with an increased risk of damage the longer symptoms go untreated. Besides relieving dry eye symptoms, here are other important reasons to visit your optometrist for dry eye syndrome management.

Problems That Can Occur When Dry Eye Syndrome Is Not Treated

Dry Eye Syndrome
If your eyes feel scratchy, itchy, as though they’re burning or stinging, or like there is grit under your eyelids, these are all symptoms of dry eyes. While sometimes these symptoms are temporary and may be caused by the weather or allergies, other times people live with these symptoms all year long. If you have chronic dry eyes, you may have Dry Eye Syndrome. This condition can be caused either by a lack of tear production or by low-quality tears that do not have the right composition to adequately lubricate the eyes. If you have dry eye symptoms, speak to your optometrist. 

Corneal Damage
Chronic dry eyes can cause damage to the cornea (the outermost part of the eye). When your eyes don’t have sufficient lubrication, it can cause the cornea to thin, tear, and scar, any of which can impact vision and lead to chronic eye pain. Other corneal damage that can occur from unaddressed chronic dry eyes includes ulcers and eye inflammation.

Your tears function to lubricate your eyes and keep them comfortable, but they also function to help wash foreign objects out of your eye. This is why you feel something in your eye, your eyes often water. When there aren’t enough tears being produced or the tears otherwise don’t function to expel objects from the eyes, you have an increased risk of eye infection.

Blurry Vision
One of the functions of tears is to help the cornea function properly and focus light. When the tear film is compromised, it can alter how your cornea focuses light and can lead to blurry vision.

Reduced Oxygen
An insufficient amount of tears can reduce the amount of oxygen and nutrients that get to the eye. This can lead to a variety of health issues including infection and abnormal blood vessel development. If abnormal blood vessels develop, they can leak and cause swelling, referred to as macular edema, which can interfere with vision.

Vision Loss
In extreme cases, the complications caused by dry eye syndrome can lead to permanent vision loss if not properly treated. Although this is rare, it is important to know that vision loss is a possibility and if you have dry eyes accompanied by blurry vision, you need to speak with an optometrist and receive a dry eye exam.

Read Receive Winter Dry Eye Treatment At A Dry Eye Clinic to
learn about different forms of dry eye relief.


Relieve Dry Eye Syndrome Symptoms And Protect Your Eyes

If you suffer from Dry Eye Syndrome, the My Optometrist Dry Eye Clinic can offer relief. Our advanced dry eye clinic offers cutting-edge dry eye technology to help resolve your worst dry eye symptoms. Our professional Calgary optometrists can diagnose your DES and quickly begin treatment, starting with instant dry eye relief recommendations as well as more advanced and long-lasting solutions through the Dry Eye Clinic. To book an eye exam with one of our eye doctors, contact My Optometrist at one of our three locations at Health First in SE Calgary, Sunridge in NE Calgary, or Three Hills, AB. You can also call us at 1-403-252-2020 or fill out the online contact form.


Q: What should I do if I think I have dry eye syndrome?
A: For immediate at-home dry eye relief treatment, you can get eye drops, ointments, and relief masks. If you still cannot find relief, book an appointment at the My Optometrist Dry Eye Clinic in Calgary. Our knowledgeable team will help you figure out your diagnosis, the severity of your dry eye syndrome, and what steps to take next.

Q: What are some potential causes of dry eyes?
A: Dry eyes can be caused by many factors including:

  • Our windy and dry Alberta climate
  • Screen use 
  • Infection 
  • Medication use
  • Diabetes or other underlying medical conditions
  • An imbalance in the composition of your tears
  • Laser eye surgery

Q: Can I still wear contacts if I suffer from dry eye syndrome?
A: Yes, but your eye doctor may require you to switch contact lenses and solutions that will not irritate your eyes while wearing them. You may also be required to wear your eyeglasses more often to prevent possible irritation from occurring with long-term wear of contact lenses. Find out more about dry eye symptoms and contact lens users here.

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