Chronic dry eye is a common condition that affects a large portion of the population in the United States (nearly 20% of women). It should come as no surprise, then, that eye doctors frequently diagnose and treat the condition. For them, it’s routine.
For you, though, it’s new, frustrating, and perhaps a little intimidating. Whether you suspect you may be suffering from dry eye or have received an official diagnosis, it is natural to have questions for your eye doctor.
To put your mind at ease and emerge feeling confident in your understanding of the condition and ability to combat it, sharing open dialogue with your eye doctor is key. To help you kickstart that conversation and ensure it’s as productive as possible, we’ve developed the following guide to help you navigate the unfamiliar waters.
Read on to unlock the full potential of your chronic eye dryness talk with your doctor.
Ask Questions – A Lot of Them!
The easiest way to break the ice and learn about chronic dry eye is to ask a lot of questions. By deferring to your doctor’s expertise, you allow them to guide the conversation. Not only does this take some of the pressure off you, but it also gives you an opportunity to listen to and absorb valuable information regarding the condition.
Start with the basics, including questions similar to these.
What is dry eye?
What are the symptoms of dry eye?
What causes dry eye?
Once you have established a foundational knowledge of chronic dry eye basics, you can have a more informed and in-depth conversation about the condition. Consider it your crash course from which you can launch into specifics.
Make it Personal
With a solid understanding of what chronic dry is, the problems it can cause, and what might cause it, you can take that knowledge and have a more specific, personal conversation with your doctor. In other words, take what you have learned and apply it to your unique situation.
You can relay how your eyes feel and voice your concerns to your doctor. Tell them why you suspect you may have chronic dry eye or, if you have already been diagnosed, describe your experience and symptoms so your doctor has a complete picture of how you have been affected.
Once your doctor has an idea of how you feel, you can once again ask questions to further the conversation. Consider using the following as starting points, then adding a personal touch.
Do I have chronic dry eye?
What else should I know about my particular position?
By this point, you and your doctor should have a pretty strong understanding of the situation and how it pertains to your eye health. All that’s left is to work together to develop a plan. In other words, it’s time to take action.
Be the catalyst to this actionable plan by asking pertinent questions like the following.
Can I still wear contacts?
What are my treatment options?
Can lifestyle changes help? If so, what can I do?
With a personalized plan in place, you can begin improving your chronic eye dryness and quality of life.
We hope this quick guide to talking to your doctor about chronic eye dryness helps you converse comfortably and freely with your eye doctor. They want nothing more than to help you overcome the discomfort of this common eye condition, so feel free to voice your concerns and thoughts openly.
For more information about chronic eye dryness, including effective treatment options, be sure to reach out to your doctor. They’ll be happy to listen to your concerns and assist you on your journey to a healthier, happier future.