If you experience dry eyes, you are not alone. Nearly half of all American adults experience dry eye syndrome on a regular basis. Dry eye syndrome occurs when the glands near your eyes don’t produce enough tears or your tears evaporate before they can lubricate your eye.
There are many different causes of dry eyes, both physical and environmental. Regardless of the cause, it’s an ongoing condition with several treatments available to manage the dryness, burning, redness and irritation you may be experiencing.
- Several autoimmune diseases including thyroid disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Sjogren’s syndrome, and ocular rosacea
- Aging and menopause
- A person’s eyelid doesn’t close all the way, either because of a genetic condition or as a result of cosmetic eyelid surgery
- A side effect of medication
- Long-term contact lens wearing
- Eyelid disease
- Air conditioning or dry heating
- Staring at a computer screen for too long
- Cold or windy weather
The first and most important step in treating dry eyes is a visit to your optometrist or ophthalmologist who can help you determine the cause of dryness. He or she will provide a thorough examination and may even refer you to another doctor for testing if an autoimmune disease is the suspected cause or if your medication is causing dry eyes. During your exam at All About Eyes, Dr. Cheryl or Dr. Dave will recommend one or more of the following treatments for dry eye syndrome:
- Artificial tear drops, available over the counter
- Prescription eye drops
- Contact lens rewetting drops
- Silicone plugs inserted into the tear ducts
- Washing of the tear ducts to remove built up oil that may stop tear production
- Drinking more water to improve dehydration
- Omega-3 or flaxseed oil nutritional supplements
- Changing to a different brand of contact lens or discontinuing contact lens wear
Don’t put up with the uncomfortable, even painful feeling of dry eyes. Make an appointment with Dr. Dave or Dr. Cheryl Roell today by calling us at 609-653-9933.