Eye Care Specialists Estimate that Dry Eye Affects Millions of People in the United States
Dry Eye occurs when the tears a person's body makes fail to adequately keep the surface of the eye lubricated. This causes a person to feel a stinging, burning, or a scratching sensation in their eye. It can also feel like something is stuck in the eye or cause extra tears that are produced after the eye feels very dry or painful. Vision can also be blurred. Anyone who is suffering from these symptoms and is concerned that they might have dry eye is invited to call Today's Vision Bulverde in San Antonio, TX to speak with our doctor of optometry about this condition and how to treat it.
What are the Causes of Dry Eye?
Dry eye can occur for a variety of reasons. Women are more likely to develop this condition mostly because of hormonal changes that occur while pregnant or after menopause. Advanced age is another factor. Vision can change as we age and the body might not be making enough tears. Seasonal allergies or being exposed regularly to dry, smoky, or windy conditions can contribute to dry eye as well. Speak to an eye care professional if you are regularly exposed to these conditions.
Many medications can cause dry eye. High blood pressure and Parkinson's medication, antidepressants, anxiety medication, birth control, antihistamines, medications used to treat diabetes, and hormone replacement therapy have been known to contribute to dry eye. A few other causes include looking at screens for a long period of time each day, laser eye surgery, and certain inflammatory diseases.
How is Dry Eye Treated by a Doctor of Optometry?
In many cases, dry eye can be treated by simply figuring out the cause and making modifications to medications or lifestyle. Over the counter artificial tears are a great start to combating dry eyes. Cutting back on screen time or taking frequent breaks can be good for one's vision. Eye care professionals also recommend closing the eyes occasionally or to blink repeatedly to replenish tears. Omega 3 supplements have also proved effective in treating dry eye. This nutritional boost can reduce inflammation in the body and ease dry eye symptoms.
If treatment is not that simple, a San Antonio, TX doctor of optometry may recommend prescription medication, surgical options, or a device that can help the glands and nerves that produce tears to function better. Possible prescription medications include cyclosporine and lifitegrast. Corticosteroid drops may also be used. In extreme cases, surgery may be performed by an eye care professional to correct tear duct or drainage duct issues.