In the early stages of Dry Eye Syndrome, behaviors typically include no more than complaining of eye discomfort, sometimes stickiness or grittiness, and using lubricating eye drops. Most people don’t think it’s necessary to seek the care of a physician when they experience symptoms, or display behaviors, associated with mild Dry Eye. They think it’s something that they can easily manage by themselves.
They may not know that some lubricating eye drops are better than others, and some lubricating drops may even cause more damage if used over the long term, particularly those that contain the preservative benzalkonium chloride (BAK). They also may not know that mild aqueous deficiency or mild meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) can quickly deteriorate. That’s why it’s important to see a qualified eye care specialist, preferably an ophthalmologist specializing in Cornea and External Diseases, who can properly diagnose, and treat, the symptoms. It is best not to allow the symptoms to escalate.
In less than a year after the first onset of symptoms, for example, mild Dry Eye Syndrome can easily advance to severe Dry Eye. Once the disease has progressed to even the moderate stage, there can be significant impact on quality of life.