The condition known as Dry Eye can cause you to experience redness, itchiness, grittiness, blurred vision or a feeling that there is something in your eye. Or conversely, it may also lead to episodes of excess tearing that follow periods of dryness, discharge or pain in the eye. There are a number of reasons that dry eye can occur and luckily there are also ways to treat it.
What Is Dry Eye
Healthy eyes typically produce tears on a continual basis. These tears are made up of a mixture of water, oils, mucus and a large number of proteins, which provide moisture and lubrication, protect against infection and keep the eyes comfortable. Dry eye occurs when the quantity or quality of tears fails to provide enough lubrication to the surface of the eye.
What Causes Dry Eye
Certain factors can contribute to the occurrence of dry eye, including the following:
- Some medications have been associated with dry eye including antihistamines, decongestants, antidepressants and high blood pressure medications
- The natural aging process can cause declines in tear production, especially in people over 50
- Certain diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, thyroid disorders or Vitamin A deficiencies are associated with dry eye
- Women are at a higher risk of developing dry eye due to hormonal changes during pregnancy or menopause
- Environmental factors such as wind, smoke, dryness, or seasonal allergies can lead to dry eye
Treatment for Dry Eye
An eye care professional, like Family Vision Development Center, can diagnose and offer treatment suggestions for those who are suffering from the symptoms of dry eye. Options for treatment include:
- Over-the-counter medications such as artificial tears to relieve mild symptoms
- Environmental or lifestyle changes such as reducing screen time, wearing better sunglasses to block wind or dry air, or quitting smoking
- Prescription dry eye medications
- Devices that can stimulate tear production
- Surgical options that partially or completely plug the tear ducts
Contact Family Vision to meet with Dr. Martin for relief of dry eye or for any other eye care needs. Our office is conveniently located at 452 N. Eola Rd in Aurora, IL. Use our online appointment request form or call 630-862-2020 to schedule your appointment.