Most people have experienced dry eye at some point or another in their life. These symptoms can range from mild to severe.
However, if left untreated, dry eye can cause permanent damage. Keep reading to learn if dry eye affects vision!
What Causes Dry Eye?
Dry eye can be caused or made worse by many different factors. These include your genetics, your lifestyle, your environment, and your overall health.
Dry eye is often caused by more than one thing, and it can be difficult to figure out what combination of factors is the real problem. It is actually more productive to think about the causes of dry eye in two categories: tear production and tear quality.
If you are not producing enough tears, your eyes will be dry. On the other hand, if the tears your eyes are making are of poor quality, they will not be able to adequately lubricate the surface of your eyes.
What is Tear Quality?
Tear quality refers to the physical qualities of your tears. While tears are mostly made up of water, there is more to them.
They also need mucus to help stick to the eye and a layer of oil to coat the tear. Typically, an issue with tear quality is due to an issue with the oil layer of the tear film.
An adequate oil layer prevents the tear from evaporating too quickly. Without it, your eye quickly becomes dry, even if your eyes are producing an average amount.
What Are Some Of The Symptoms Of Dry Eye?
Tears hydrate, lubricate, and nourish your eyes. They also provide a barrier against damage and infection.
Without a healthy tear layer, you could experience the following symptoms in your eyes:
- Sticky, dried mucus
- Eye fatigue
- Sensitivity to light
- Increased risk of infection
- Blurry vision
- Watery eyes
How Do Eye Doctors Treat Dry Eye?
At Stahl Eyecare, a comprehensive eye exam evaluates the specific factors causing your dry eye, including tear quantity, quality, eyelid health, and blink patterns. Treatments aim to supplement and retain natural tears.
Here are some of the treatments your eye doctor may recommend:
- Over-the-counter artificial tears provide extra moisture.
- Punctal plugs inserted into tear ducts slow drainage.
- Prescription eyedrops boost tear production.
- Warm compresses and eyelid massages clear oil glands.
Your eye doctor at Stahl Eyecare will develop a tailored dry eye treatment plan based on your exam findings. From OTC drops to specialized surgery, various options can effectively relieve symptoms by addressing your particular underlying issues.
How Can Dry Eye Be Prevented?
Dry eye cannot be prevented in everyone. However, with some changes, you may be able to reduce the risk and the severity.
Protect your eyes from blowing air from wind, fans, A/C, etc. If you need to use them, point them away from your face.
It’s also important to stay hydrated. Your body needs plenty of water to produce tears efficiently.
If you work ona computer, take breaks from screen time as often as possible. Your eyes naturally blink less when looking at screens, so it’s important to remember to take breaks and blink often.
Are you experiencing symptoms of dry eye? Schedule an appointment at Stahl Eyecare Experts in Garden City, NY, today!