Dry eye is a condition that affects millions of Americans. It is caused when the eyes either do not produce tears properly or when the tears evaporate on the eyes too quickly. Tears are necessary to keep the eye lubricated and protected. Dry eye is not only a nuisance; this condition can damage the delicate tissues on the cornea of the eye, leading to impaired vision or conditions such as corneal ulcers, infection and conjunctivitis.
Symptoms of Dry Eye
- Excessive watering
- Gritty, sandy feeling in the eyes
- Itching and burning
- Blurry visionafter periods of reading, watching TV, or using a computer
- Red, irritated eyes that produce a mucous discharge
Common Causes of Dry Eye
- Hormonal changes
- Autoimmune disease such as arthritis and Lupus
- Environmental factors (smoke, air conditioning, dust)
- Long periods of computer usage
- Contact lenses
Treatment Options for Dry Eye
- Over-the-Counter Options: Artificial tears and ointmentscan lubricate the eyes and replace missing moisture.
- Medicated Eye Drops: Medications such as RESTASIS® Ophthalmic Emulsion may help increase tear production for patients with chronic dry eye.
- Punctal Plugs: Tiny silicone plugs can be painlessly inserted into the tear drainage ducts to act as a dam so the tears remain on the surface of the eyes.
- Home Remedies: Using humidifier swill add moisture to the air.
- Environmental Remedies: Avoid smoke and dusty/windy environments and wear sunglasses when outdoors.
The best treatment for you will depend on the underlying cause of your condition. A full eye exam is necessary to have your tear film evaluated so proper treatment can be determined.
If you are suffering from dry eye symptoms in Corpus Christi, TX, contact us today to schedule an eye exam.