Can Dry Eye Cause Blindness?

Dry eye is a common eye condition that affects millions in the United States and can lead to painful, frustrating symptoms. But can dry eye cause blindness? Our team is here to help you learn more about the condition, symptoms, and treatments.

Can Dry Eye Cause Blindness?

No – while dry eye can cause blurry vision, the condition itself doesn’t typically cause blindness. However, if left untreated, chronic dry eye can cause other eye issues like corneal ulceration that may affect your vision down the line. 

Prolonged irritation and inflammation can damage the surface of the cornea, potentially impacting vision. However, with proper treatment and management, the risk of blindness is low. It’s important to address symptoms quickly to prevent complications and maintain good eye health.

Symptoms of Dry Eye

Dry eye disease can cause a whole host of uncomfortable symptoms, including burning and stinging sensations, redness, eye fatigue, and watery eyes. Learn more about the symptoms here. Some patients can mistake dry eye for allergies, but don’t brush these symptoms off. See your eye doctor for prompt treatment.

Treatment Options for Dry Eyes

Luckily, several treatment options are available to manage dry eye symptoms and provide relief. It’s important to visit your ophthalmologist to determine the best solution for your eyes. 

Artificial Tears, Gels, or Ointments

Artificial tears are a common first-line treatment for dry eyes. Read about the best options our specialist Dr. Kimberly Riordan recommends here. These eye drops help lubricate the eyes and provide temporary relief from discomfort. Gels and ointments are thicker versions that can offer longer-lasting relief, especially at night to keep the eyes moist and prevent tears from evaporating.

Punctal Eye Plugs For Dry Eye

Punctal plugs are tiny devices inserted into the tear ducts to block the drainage of tears from the eyes. By preventing tears from draining away too quickly, punctal eye plugs for dry eye can keep the eyes moist and reduce dryness symptoms. This treatment option can be particularly beneficial for patients with severe dry eye or those who don’t respond well to other treatments. 

IPL Dry Eye Treatment

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) therapy is a non-invasive treatment option for dry eye that targets inflammation of the meibomian glands. By applying pulses of light to the skin and around the eyes, IPL dry eye treatment can improve the function of these glands, which are responsible for producing the oily part of tears. 

LipiFlow Thermal Pulsation

LipiFlow® uses a controlled warm temperature and gentle massaging to allow blocked meibomian glands in the eyes to open. The natural production of lipids needed for tear film is then resumed. A clinical study showed about 79% of patients reported an improvement in their dry eye symptoms after one LipiFlow treatment.

Dry Eyes and Cataracts

Contrary to popular belief, dry eye does not directly lead to the development of cataracts. While it is possible to have both of these conditions at the same time, one doesn’t cause the other. After cataract surgery, patients may experience dry eye as a temporary side effect. Symptoms will typically resolve over 3-6 months, with most patients back to baseline by 6 months after surgery.

However, anyone who already suffered from dry eye before cataract surgery may continue to experience symptoms after the recovery period. Therefore, it’s important to manage dry eyes before and after cataract surgery for optimal eye health and comfort.

Dry Eye Treatment Near Me

If you’re suffering from gritty, tired or uncomfortable dry eyes, International Eye Associates is here to provide personalized dry eye care to help you find relief and improve your quality of life. Led by Dr. Kimberly Riordan, along with our team of 20 board-certified doctors are experts in dry eye care.

Your provider at International Eye Associates will work closely with you to develop a tailored treatment plan that addresses your specific needs and concerns. Our dry eye experts use the latest advancements in technology to provide the best possible care for our patients.

Schedule an Appointment With International Eye Associates

Don’t let dry eyes hold you back any longer. International Eye Associates is proud to be the area’s only Dry Eye Center of Excellence, and we’re committed to helping you achieve clear vision and relief from dry eye symptoms. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and take the first step toward finding relief.