Do you feel a burning, stinging, or scratchy sensation in your eyes? If so, you may be one of the millions of people with dry eye syndrome.
When you have dry eye, it may seem like chronic discomfort is a part of your everyday life that you just have to accept. But you don’t have to!
Keep reading to find out the benefits of seeing your eye doctor if your eyes are dry!
What Is Dry Eye Syndrome?
Dry eye syndrome is a common condition resulting from a lack of moisture in the eye. Your eyes may not produce enough tears, or the tears they produce may not be of good quality.
Your eyes rely on tears in order to help them focus light properly and protect them from irritants. A tear comprises three layers: oil, water, and mucus.
Each of these serves its own purpose and is essential to the health of your eyes. For this reason, your eyes produce tears continuously.
Every time you blink, they are spread across the surface of your eye. This layer of liquid is referred to as the tear film.
Not only is this lubrication crucial for clear vision, but it also keeps your eyes comfortable.
What Are the Symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome?
Someone’s experience of dry eye syndromes can range from mild to severe. A lack of adequate moisture in the eyes can lead to a variety of symptoms, including:
- A burning, stinging, or scratchy sensation
- Blurry vision
- Stringy mucus
- Difficulty wearing contact lenses
- Excessive watering
Many people are surprised to learn that dry eye syndrome can be associated with excessive watering of the eyes. When irritated, the eyes produce more tears than usual as they try to flush out the source of the irritation.
Unfortunately, this does not improve the condition and only adds another symptom to the patient’s experience.
What Causes Dry Eye?
There are many factors that can lead to the development of dry eye. One of the most significant factors is your age.
As you get older, your eyes naturally produce fewer tears, which can be of a lower quality than those made in your younger years.
Although anyone can develop dry eye, women are more likely to experience it than men, particularly after going through menopause. Hormonal changes that occur throughout a woman’s lifetime have the potential to affect the eyes.
The medication you are taking can cause dry eye syndrome as a side effect. Antihistamines, beta-blockers, sleeping aids, pain relievers, and diuretics are some examples of medications that have been associated with dry eye syndrome.
Some conditions can be related to dry eye. These include rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren’s syndrome, thyroid disease, and lupus.
You may notice that the environment around you plays a role in your symptoms. Individuals who spend time in a smoky, windy, or arid climate are more likely to have difficulty retaining adequate moisture in their eyes.
How Is Dry Eye Treated?
The good news is that dry eye syndrome is treatable. When eye dryness is bothering you, the best thing you can do for yourself is to schedule an appointment with your eye doctor.
During your exam, your eye doctor will be able to diagnose whether or not your symptoms stem from dry eye syndrome or something else. This allows us to find the proper treatment for you, so you can start feeling better as soon as possible.
Eye doctors often recommend artificial tears for mild to moderate cases of dry eye syndrome. There are a variety of options available over the counter, and your eye doctor will be happy to help determine the best fit for you.
You can apply these drops as often as you need them.
Medicated Eye Drops
If you have chronic dry eye, your eye doctor may also prescribe a special medication to increase your tear production. The goal is to treat the inflammation that is occurring so that your eye can resume normal tear production.
Another way to increase the amount of moisture in the eye is to close the tear ducts. Your tear ducts are an essential part of the drainage system that transports tears away from your eye.
We may recommend surgery to plug your tear ducts, whether temporarily or permanently. This will help tears remain in the eye for longer.
Since some situations are more likely to trigger or exacerbate dry eye symptoms, you should take care to avoid them. If your house tends to be dry, invest in a humidifier to stop the air around you from drying out your eyes.
Consider wearing glasses in windy conditions to protect your eyes from the intense flow of air. Finally, since it can break down your tear film, avoid smoking.
Are you ready to find a solution for your dry eyes? Schedule an appointment at Takle Eye Group in Griffin, GA, today!