What is Dry Eye?
Dry eye is a common condition that affects millions of people around the world. It occurs when your eyes do not produce enough tears or when your tears evaporate too quickly, causing discomfort, irritation, and in severe cases, vision loss. If you suffer from dry eye, it’s important to seek treatment to alleviate your symptoms and protect your vision.
Common Causes of Dry Eye
Dry eye can have a variety of causes, including:
- Aging: As you age, your eyes naturally produce fewer tears, making you more susceptible to dry eye.
- Environmental factors: Exposure to dry air, wind, or smoke can cause tears to evaporate more quickly, leading to dry eye.
- Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome, and thyroid problems, can cause dry eye.
- Medications: Antihistamines, decongestants, and certain blood pressure medications can cause or worsen dry eye.
- Hormonal changes: Women are more likely to develop dry eye due to hormonal changes during pregnancy, menopause, and the use of oral contraceptives.
- Contact lenses: Wearing contact lenses can cause dry eye, particularly if they are worn for long periods or not cleaned properly.
- Eye surgery: Some people experience dry eye after undergoing certain eye surgeries, such as LASIK.
- Poor nutrition: A diet low in essential fatty acids, vitamin A, and other nutrients can contribute to dry eye.
Your doctor will thoroughly evaluate the type and severity of your dry eye, and create a treatment plan which may include some or all of the following:
- Lid scrubs: These are gentle cleansers that can help to remove debris and bacteria from your eyelids and improve the health of your tear film.
- Hot compresses: Applying a warm compress to your eyes can help to stimulate tear production and improve the quality of your tears.
- Lubrication: Artificial tears, gels, and ointments can be used to lubricate your eyes and provide relief from dry eye symptoms.
- Ointments: These thicker lubricants can be applied to your eyes at night to keep them moist while you sleep.
- Steroid drops: Steroids may be prescribed to reduce inflammation in your eyes, which can help to relieve dry eye symptoms.
- Cyclosporine: This medication can help to reduce inflammation and improve tear production in people with chronic dry eye.
- Punctal plugs: These tiny plugs are inserted into the tear ducts to help prevent tears from draining too quickly from the eyes, keeping them moist and lubricated.
- Amniotic membrane: This treatment involves placing a thin membrane made from human amniotic tissue over the surface of the eye to promote healing and reduce inflammation.
Your doctor will identify the underlying cause of your dry eye, and we use the latest treatments and technologies to provide you with the relief you need.
Don’t let dry eye symptoms interfere with your quality of life. Schedule a consultation with us today and take the first step towards healthier, more comfortable eyes.