Although dry eye is a fairly common ocular condition, many people still don’t understand its causes or how to treat it. As a result, they continue to struggle with its irritating symptoms. The answers to the following FAQs from Wichita Optometry explain more about dry eye syndrome, what causes this condition, and how you can manage its symptoms.
What Exactly Is Dry Eye?
Dry eye occurs when your eyes stop producing sufficient tears to keep them lubricated. In some cases, your eyes produce low quality tears that evaporate quickly, making them of little use in moisturizing your eyes. Lack of tears causes your eyes to become dry, irritated, and more prone to infections.
What’s Causing My Dry Eye?
The aging process can affect tear production, leading to dry eye syndrome. Environmental factors like pollen, wind, air pollution, and indoor heating systems can contribute to dry eye, as can certain medications, eye surgeries, and computer overuse.
What Are the Symptoms of Dry Eye?
Dry eye can cause redness, itchiness, sensitivity to light, eye fatigue, blurry vision, eye irritations, and discharge from your eyes. Your eyes may water constantly due to your body producing excess tears to counter symptoms of your condition. Wearing contacts can worsen these symptoms.
Can Dry Eye Lead to More Serious Eye Conditions?
Tears help protect your eyes by washing away dust, debris, and other substances. Lack of tears can make you more susceptible to corneal abrasions as these substances can scratch the surface of your eyes. It also makes you more vulnerable to eye infections and diseases.
How Do Eye Doctors Diagnose Dry Eye?
An optometrist will evaluate your eyes, observe your symptoms, and measure your tear production to determine if you have dry eye. Your medical history will also be reviewed, including past eye problems and treatments, to uncover the cause of your condition.
How Is Dry Eye Treated?
Although there is no cure for dry eye, there are treatments that can help you manage dry eye symptoms. For mild cases of dry eye, artificial tears can generally alleviate symptoms. For more serious conditions, we may prescribe eye drops or medications to manage your symptoms and stimulate tear production. When possible, we’ll recommend avoiding irritants or conditions that aggravate dry eye symptoms.
See Our Wichita Optometrist for Dry Eye Diagnosis and Treatment
Dry eye symptoms are not only irritating, they can lower your quality of life and put you at risk for more serious eye conditions. To schedule an appointment for dry eye diagnosis and treatment, contact Wichita Optometry at 316-942-7496 at your earliest convenience.