Dry eye is a common disease of the eye that occurs when your eyes do not make enough natural tears to keep your eyes lubricated. It can also occur if the tears that you do produce are of poor quality and they evaporate before they have a chance to lubricate the eyes. Fortunately, the professionals at Gregg Family Eye Care can help.
Who Is At Risk For Dry Eye?
While anyone can get dry eye, there are certain factors that increase your risk of developing the condition. These include:
- Age: As you get older, your eyes will produce fewer natural tears.
- Medication: Certain medications list dry eye as a potential side effect. These include decongestants, antihistamines, antidepressants, acne medication, birth control pills, and hormone replacement therapy.
- Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions can cause dry eye including allergic eye disease, thyroid disorders, vitamin A deficiency, arthritis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and vitamin A deficiency.
What Are the Symptoms Of Dry Eye?
Dry eye causes symptoms that make you extremely uncomfortable and symptoms that can interfere with your vision. The symptoms include:
- Feeling like there is something in your eye
- Burning, stinging or scratching in the eyeglasses
- Redness of the eye
- Stringy mucus in the eye
- Sensitivity to light
- Blurry vision
- Eye fatigue
How Is Dry Eye Treated?
There are a few treatment options for dry eye. The one that your eye doctor chooses would depend on the severity of your condition.
- Artificial tears: If your case is mild, your optometrist will prescribe artificial tears. They are designed to give your eyes the moisture that they cannot create themselves.
- Eye inserts: Eye inserts do the same thing that artificial tears do, but you do not need to worry about using the drops several times a day. The insert is about the size of a grain of rice, and it fits between your lower lid and your eye. During the day, the insert will dissolve slowly, keeping your eyes moist.
- Tear stimulating drugs: Your optometrist could prescribe a drug designed to help your eyes produce more natural tears. These drugs are available in pill form, gel form or eye drops.
- Punctal plugs: In more serious cases, your eye doctor might recommend punctal plugs. These are made of silicone, and they close your tear ducts. This will prevent your tears from leaving the eye too quickly.
Call Gregg Family Eye Care Today!
If you are experiencing the symptoms of dry eye, contact Gregg Family Eye Care in Secane, PA. During your annual eye exam, we can perform a Schirmer test to determine the number of tears produced by your eyes. If you are diagnosed with dry eye, we can create a dry eye treatment plan to help relieve you of your symptoms. To schedule an appointment, give us a call today.