Dry eye syndrome is a common eye condition characterized by eyes that are unable to retain moisture. This can cause eye discomfort and can lead to vision problems. The condition can affect anyone, but it is most common among adults aged 50 years and above.
Dry eye affects more women than men, mainly due to hormonal changes. There is currently no permanent cure for the condition, but there are ways to manage and reduce symptoms.
There are several symptoms of dry eye. The symptoms include a burning or stinging sensation in the eyes, feeling pressure in the eyes, and eye redness. Other symptoms are blurry vision, sensitivity to light, the sensation of something in the eyes, and discomfort when opening the eyes. Treating underlying conditions and removing triggers usually help alleviate the symptoms.
Several factors cause dry eye. The tear film failing to optimally lubricate the eye is one of the leading causes. This can either be due to tears evaporating too fast or the production of poor-quality tears.
Other factors include:
Tears drying too fast
The body failing to produce enough tears
The use of certain medications
This condition is usually part of the natural aging process.
Treatment of the condition usually involves using medication or eye drops to keep the eyes wet or moist. Several management options can help retain eye moisture. This helps reduce symptoms, protecting the vision.
Management of dry eyes revolves around removing or reducing environmental triggers and maintaining a functional and adequate tear film. Treatment of underlying health conditions that cause dry eye is crucial.
Some risk factors can contribute to dry eye. The factors include a deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids or vitamin A and skin conditions around the eyelids. Other risk factors are having laser eye surgery, wearing contact lenses, and too much digital screen use.
Some allergies can predispose an individual to dry eye. Long-term health conditions such as diabetes can lead to dry eye. Environmental factors like wind, smoke, and dry air can exacerbate dry eye syndrome.
Proper diagnosis is essential in helping with proper treatment and management. Eye doctors can check for dry eye during routine comprehensive eye exams. Diagnosing the condition is done using several eye tests. The exams include:
A slit-lamp test
Tear breakup time test
The eye doctor can check the tear production, eye moisture, and tear film function
Eye doctors will recommend treatment based on the symptoms and the underlying cause. If you experience symptoms of dry eye, you should visit an eye doctor. The doctor can prescribe treatment that may include artificial tears, moisturizing ointments or gels, and prescription eye drops. The treatment can also involve using punctual plugs or surgery.
For more information on dry eyes, call Vision One Eyecare Center at our offices in Mitchell or Dry Ridge, Kentucky. You can call 859-267-1700 or 859-407-7400 to schedule an appointment today.