Do your eyes feel dry when you wear your contact lenses? Are your eyes red and irritated all the time?
These symptoms could mean that you have dry eye. Having dry eye isn’t the end of the world, but it can be frustrating. Keep reading to learn if you could be suffering from dry eye syndrome!
What is Dry Eye?
Dry eye occurs when your eyes either can’t make enough tears or they make low-quality tears. As a result, your eyes are dry and lacking moisture.
This makes them irritated. Some people who have dry eyes describe it as having a burning or stinging sensation in your eyes. Certain environments can cause dry eye.
Some of these environments include airplanes, being close to air conditioning or windy locations. You can prevent dry eye by knowing what the symptoms and causes of it are.
Dry Eye Symptoms
You could have a variety of symptoms while you are experiencing dry eye. Symptoms can include blurry vision, redness, a gritty sensation, thinking that something is in your eye, being sensitive to light, and itchiness.
Some people with dry eye produce too many tears. Their eyes do this because of how dry their eyes are.
Feeling like your eyes are dry can sometimes tell your brain to increase tear production. The tears produced are mostly water.
When a tear has the proper components, it’s made up of water, oil, and mucus. If your tears are missing any of these components, they cannot lubricate or nourish the eyes.
Tears missing these components cannot cover the surface of the eye, which can lead to symptoms of dry eye.
Causes of Dry Eye
There are many causes of dry eye. One of the causes can be a balance problem with your tear system. Environmental causes can include being in a dry climate, wind, and smoke.
Other causes can include allergies, aging, diseases affecting tear production like Rheumatoid Arthritis and Sjogren’s syndrome, prescription drug side effects, and a short-term side effect of LASIK.
Risk Factors of Dry Eye
There are many risk factors for developing dry eye. One risk factor for developing dry eye is looking at digital devices or screens.
When we look at screens for too long, we blink less and it affects our tear production. If you wear contact lenses, this can cause dry eye as well, since contacts don’t let the eye have as much oxygen.
If you travel by plane often, you can develop dry eye because plane cabins have dry air, lacking moisture. Finally, smoking has been connected to dry eye and other conditions.
Dry Eye Treatments
There are several ways to treat dry eye. The most common ones include:
Artificial tears can be helpful for treating symptoms of dry eye, but they will not treat the root cause. Artificial tears can be helpful for simple cases of dry eye related to eye strain like school work, reading, or using a computer.
Using artificial tears or lubricating eye drops can be a great solution if your eyes are dry. Talking with your eye doctor is the best way to figure out what kind of eye drops you should get.
Prescription Eye Drops
For some patients, doctors prescribe eye drops to treat your dry eye. There are a variety of options for eye drops that your doctor can discuss with you.
Punctal plugs are a helpful way to treat dry eye on a temporary or permanent basis. Punctal plugs are small plugs that sit in the tear ducts.
They help keep tears on the surface of your eye longer. This is helpful for patients whose tears evaporate too quickly because of their dry eye.
Are you ready to treat your dry eyes? Dealing with your dry eye will improve your quality of life. Schedule your appointment at Stahl Eyecare Experts in Manhattan, NY today!