Dry eye disease occurs when the eyes do not produce enough tears, or the tears they produce don’t keep the ocular surface sufficiently moist. If you have dry eye, you probably experience uncomfortable symptoms such as itching, burning or stinging, a gritty sensation or sensitivity to light.
Neglecting dry eye disease means these symptoms will persist and possibly worsen. Failure to properly treat dry eye also puts you at risk of several serious eye problems. Read on as the Access Eye team discusses the consequences of untreated dry eye disease.
Consequences of Untreated Dry Eye Disease
Tears play an important role in your ocular health. They wash away dirt and debris from the surface of your eyes. They make it possible to comfortably wear contact lenses. And they keep your eyes properly lubricated so you can go about your daily activities. If your eyes do not produce enough tears or if the tears do not have the proper composition, several things can occur over time.
One possibility is that your cornea — the transparent front portion of your eye — could suffer a scratch or abrasion. If tears cannot wash away dirt, dust and debris from the surface of your eyes, those particles could scratch the cornea and cause an infection or an ulcer. If an ulcer is left untreated, it can permanently scar your eyeball and even lead to partial or total blindness.
Another consequence of chronically dry eye is damage to the conjunctiva, the layer of clear cells covering the white of your eye. Without adequate tears to wash away bacteria, the conjunctiva can develop an infection that compounds the symptoms of dry eye.
You may also find that it becomes difficult to wear contacts. The lack of moisture makes contact lenses uncomfortable to insert and remove.
Eventually, untreated dry eye may take a toll on your quality of life. Chronic discomfort can interfere with your ability to work or perform everyday activities like reading or driving. You may have a hard time concentrating or enjoying your hobbies because of the distraction of dry eyes. At a certain point, the discomfort may start to affect your mental health, possibly causing stress and anxiety.
Quality Care With the Access Eye Team
Access Eye is well-known for properly managing dry eye symptoms in countless patients. Once we understand the root cause of your problem, we can suggest a comprehensive plan for restoring moisture and comfort to your eyes. In some cases, this is as simple as making a few lifestyle changes, using eyedrops or undergoing a quick, in-office procedure.
If you are suffering the uncomfortable effects of dry eyes, contact Access Eye today. We will help you overcome your symptoms and put you on the path to optimal eye health.