Dry eye syndrome occurs when the surface of the eyes is not properly lubricated. More than 16 million adults in the U.S. have been diagnosed with the condition. Your risk of developing dry eye increases as you age, and it occurs more commonly in women than in men.
In this post, your local eye doctor from Elite Vision Care explains what causes dry eye syndrome and what you can do if you’re diagnosed with it.
Causes of Dry Eye Syndrome
Every time you blink, your eyes produce basal tears that nourish and protect the cornea. If the glands in your eyes don’t produce sufficient basal tears or if there are changes in the composition of the tears, you may experience dry eyes.
Symptoms of dry eye syndrome can include feeling a scratchy sensation in the eye, burning, stinging, excess tearing followed by dryness, pain, redness and discharge. You may also experience light sensitivity, heavy eyelids and blurry vision. If you have any of these symptoms, you should immediately consult your optometrist for proper dry eye treatment.
Dry eyes may be caused by certain medications like antihistamines, antidepressants, birth control pills, decongestants and hormone replacement therapy. Anxiety, Parkinson’s disease and high blood pressure medications may also result in dry eyes.
Hormonal changes in women like pregnancy or menopause can contribute to dry eye syndrome. You are at higher risk if you have health conditions such as rosacea, blepharitis, autoimmune diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, thyroid disorders or a vitamin A deficiency.
Tears may evaporate more quickly in windy, smoky, and dry environments, leading to dry eyes. Other factors that may cause dry eye syndrome include seasonal allergies, extended screen time that results in insufficient blinking and laser eye surgery.
Treatment for Dry Eye
Simple measures can help treat dry eyes like making sure your eyes are clean and taking breaks from digital screens.
You can prevent eye strain by keeping your computer screen at eye level. Using a humidifier can prevent the air from getting too dry. Being well rested and wearing eyeglasses rather than contacts periodically to give your eyes a break can also help.
To help manage the condition, your eye care specialist may prescribe dry eye medications, use devices to stimulate tear-producing glands or suggest surgical options like punctal plugs, which keep tears from draining.
Visit your eye doctor if you experience discomfort and changes in your eyes. At Elite Vision Care, we are your local provider of dry eye syndrome and glaucoma treatment options. Call us at (281) 554-7080 or book an appointment online. We help patients in League City, TX.