Experts estimate that about 16 million Americans are living with dry eyes. Usually, this condition is an annoyance that’s easy to treat with over-the-counter eye drops. But if your symptoms persist or interfere with your quality of life, it’s important to seek professional medical help. Jacqueline Littzi, MD, at Littzi Eye Care in New Canaan and Greenwich, Connecticut, has years of experience diagnosing and treating dry eyes. To request your consultation today, call the office nearest you or use the online booking tool.
Dry eyes are a common health problem that occurs when your natural tears don’t provide adequate lubrication for your eyes. Some people with dry eyes don’t produce enough tears, while others produce tears that are of low quality. Left unmanaged, dry eyes can negatively affect your ability to drive, use a computer, and spend time outside.
People with dry eyes are also at risk of developing blepharitis (eyelid inflammation). A growing body of evidence suggests dry eyes are a late-stage symptom of blepharitis. Treating blepharitis can prevent or reduce dry eyes altogether. Fortunately, several effective treatments can lessen irritation and discomfort while improving your quality of life.
The symptoms of dry eyes vary from person to person and depend on the severity of your condition. Some people experience irritation in one eye, while others experience problems in both. Telltale signs of dry eyes include:
As your condition gets worse, you could experience the sensation that you have something caught in your eye. You might also experience difficulty wearing contact lenses.
At Littzi Eye Care, Dr. Littzi diagnoses dry eyes using state-of-the-art qualitative and quantitative testing. To assist in these efforts, Dr. Littzi uses the tear osmolarity test from TearLab® and the InflammaDry® MMP-9 protein test from Quidel®.
The TearLab Osmolarity System measures the osmolarity (the concentration of your natural tears) while the InflammaDry MMP-9 protein test is the first and only in-office test that detects elevated levels of MMP, an inflammatory marker found in people with dry eyes.
Following an eye exam, a review of your medical history, and a discussion of your symptoms, Dr. Littzi can recommend a dry eye test that best aligns with your individual needs.
Whenever possible, Dr. Littzi uses conservative treatments to ease irritation and discomfort caused by dry eyes. If you experience mild symptoms and they don’t interfere with your daily routine, you might be able to ease your symptoms with over-the-counter eye drops. If your symptoms persist, prescription medications could be necessary.
Depending on the severity of your dry eyes, Dr. Littzi might recommend a medication to reduce eyelid inflammation, medication to relieve corneal inflammation, or medication that encourages your body to produce healthy, well-lubricated tears. If your symptoms persist, Dr. Littzi might recommend a procedure to unblock oil glands in your tear ducts.
Don’t let dry eyes prevent you from living a healthy, active life. Request an appointment at Littzi Eye Care by calling the office nearest you or by using the online booking tool today.