Almost all of us have experienced itchy, red or dry eyes at some point. Dry eye syndrome is characterized by a chronic lack of lubrication causing irritation in the eyes. Depending on the cause and severity of the condition, dry eye syndrome may not be completely curable. However, most cases can be managed successfully.
If you experience constant irritation from dry eye, let our staff of experts help you relieve your symptoms. With years of collective experience, our team has helped countless patients manage chronic dry eye with the appropriate tools and treatments. Schedule a consultation with us today to learn more about the treatment options we offer.
What Is Dry Eye Syndrome?
Dry eye is a condition in which the body produces an insufficient quantity or quality of tears. Without tears, the eyes are not adequately lubricated, causing a gritty sensation. A majority of dry eye cases involve the meibomian glands, which secrete lipids (oils) to slow the evaporation of tears. When the meibomian glands malfunction or become plugged, tears evaporate too quickly and cannot lubricate the eyes properly.
Causes of Dry Eye
Common causes of dry eye include:
- Medications (e.g., antihistamines, beta-blockers and oral contraceptive)
- Hormonal changes
- Infrequent blinking
- Autoimmune disorders
- LASIK surgery
- Cosmetic eye surgery
- Sun overexposure
- Dry environments
Common Symptoms of Dry Eye
In most cases, dry eye syndrome is benign yet uncomfortable. Common symptoms include:
- Itchy eyes
- Burning sensation
- Red eyes
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Feeling of having something caught in your eye
- Eye fatigue
Some dry eye cases worsen during allergy season and improve throughout the year. Heavily air conditioned environments (e.g., offices) and springtime allergies can also worsen dry eye. In any case, if you experience constant irritation and other bothersome symptoms from dry eye constantly, we can discuss your treatment options with you.
Dry Eye Treatment
Once our team assesses the full extent of your condition, we can design a treatment plan that is tailored to your unique condition. In some cases, artificial tears (eye drops) can provide sufficient relief. Behavior modifications such as taking more frequent breaks from your computer at work or avoiding air conditioning can help relieve your symptoms. For optimal eye health, we recommend a diet rich in omega-3 foods (e.g., salmon, nuts, flaxseed oil) or supplements.
For more severe cases of dry eye, our vision experts may recommend the following:
- Prescription eye drops (Restasis or Xiidra), which lubricate eyes and reduce inflammation associated with dry eye syndrome
- Antibiotics or tear-stimulating drugs
- Punctal plugs to prevent tear drainage
- Intense pulsed light therapy, a non-surgical procedure to slow the evaporation of tears
Get Relief From Dry Eye
There’s no reason to wait any longer for dry eye relief. To learn about the treatment options we offer, schedule a dry eye consultation with our vision practice today.