What Causes Dry Eye and What Treatments Are Available?
Having to deal with dry eye is uncomfortable, bothersome, and can be detrimental to your vision. When your eyes do not have enough lubrication, your eyes will be less resistant to infections and scratches. The skilled staff at Eyes for Wellness in Indianapolis, IN, understand this eye issue and will help you cope with its effects.
What Causes Dry Eye?
Tears provide lubrication for your eyes in addition to washing dirt and infectious substances out of them. Dry eye is caused due to a lack of available tears to keep them wet. The reasons for a lack of tears generally fall into three categories: a decrease in tear production, an increase in tear evaporation, and an imbalance in tear composition.
- Decrease in tear production: A decrease in tear production can be due to a medical condition, such as, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, vitamin A deficiency, or thyroid disorders. It also can be due to medications you are taking like hormone replacement therapy, decongestants, antidepressants, high blood pressure medications, and birth control. Aging, eye laser surgery, and tear gland damage can also be contributing factors.
- Increase in evaporation of tears: Your eyes may produce adequate tears, but they are evaporating before sufficiently lubricating your eyes. Wind, smoke, and dry air can cause this condition. If your eyelids turn in or out, it can contribute to an increase of tear evaporation. Too long of a time between blinking also contributes to this condition.
- Imbalance of tear composition: Your tears are made up of three components, oil, water, and mucus. An imbalance of these three components can cause dry eye.
Symptoms of Dry Eye
- Scratchy sensation
- Stringy mucus in or around your eye(s)
- The feeling that you have something in your eye(s)
- Eye fatigue
What Are the Effects of Dry Eye on Your Eyes?
Without enough tears to keep your eyes clean, you will have an increased risk of getting an eye infection. Your eyes can become inflamed and scratched. Just like any other eye condition, your quality of life will decrease due to not being able to easily perform daily tasks like reading.
What Treatments Are Available for Dry Eye?
For most people, over-the-counter eye drops are all that is necessary to treat this condition. Otherwise, a workable treatment would be dependent on the cause of your dry eye condition.
If your optometrist identifies a medication you are taking is causing your dry eye, another medication may be prescribed to replace it. Medications can also be used to try to increase your tear production. If your condition is due to inflammation, medications are available to control the inflammation. If your oil glands are blocked keeping oil from being added to your tears, there are remedies for that. Surgery may be needed to correct tear duct or eyelid defects.
A Skilled Optometrist Can Provide Quality Treatment for Your Dry Eye
An effective treatment for your dry eye can be complicated, but it also can be a simple solution. You will find a skilled and experienced optometrist at Eyes for Wellness in Indianapolis, IN. Call and set up an eye appointment with us today. We will take good care of your vision.