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Can dry eye cause blindness?

Dry eye itself is not typically a direct cause of blindness. However, if left untreated or if the underlying causes are severe, it can lead to complications that might potentially affect vision. Dry eye syndrome occurs when the eyes do not produce enough tears or when the tears evaporate too quickly, leading to discomfort, redness, irritation, and sometimes blurry vision.

In severe cases or if left untreated over a long period, chronic dry eye can contribute to certain complications that could impact vision:

  1. Corneal Damage: The cornea is the clear front surface of the eye. Prolonged dryness can cause damage to the corneal surface, resulting in scarring or irregularities that can affect vision.

  2. Corneal Infections: Dry eyes can make the cornea more susceptible to infections, which, if severe and untreated, could potentially lead to vision problems.

  3. Light Sensitivity: Dry eyes can lead to increased light sensitivity (photophobia), making it uncomfortable to be in bright environments and potentially impacting visual tasks.

  4. Decreased Visual Clarity: Blurred vision and fluctuating visual acuity are common symptoms of dry eye. While these symptoms can be temporary and improve with treatment, chronic issues may affect overall visual clarity.

  5. Contact Lens Intolerance: Individuals with dry eyes may find it difficult to wear contact lenses comfortably, which could indirectly affect their vision correction.

It's important to manage dry eye symptoms early and effectively to prevent potential complications. If you are experiencing persistent dry eye symptoms, come see us, we can help!

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