Dry Eye Syndrome: The Causes, Signs, Symptoms and Treatment
While most of us experience an occasional gritty feeling in our eyes, a few quick blinks will generate enough tears to refresh our eyes and get rid of the sensation.
For those who suffer from chronic dry eye/ dry eye syndrome, the situation is very different. That gritty sensitive sensation and accompanying squint are constant. No matter how much they blink, that wave of cleansing refreshing tears never comes, or if they do they are insufficient to make the discomfort go away.
What is Dry Eye?
Dry eye is a problem with the way your body generates the tear film that is vital to cleansing your eye and protecting your cornea from infection and abrasions.
Usually, your body is either not producing sufficient tears to do the job, or the tears you are producing are of poor quality and cannot maintain the healthy tear film in your eye.
Causes of Dry Eye:
- Medical Conditions- Diabetes and Thyroid problems can affect your eye health
- Age- as we grow older our tear production naturally decreases
- Medications- Antidepressants, Antihistamines frequently affect tear production
- Environment- Those who work/play in dry windy areas, or around smoke are at risk
- Work habits- prolonged computer work and overhead fans increase your risk
- Heredity- There is evidence dry eye runs in families
Signs and Symptoms:
- Gritty, burning sensation
- Watery eye or blurred eye
How is Dry Eye Diagnosed?
A comprehensive eye examination will be performed. This includes discussing your symptoms, medications you take, your overall health and any pertinent family history.
Your optometrist will next thoroughly examine your eye and eye structures and perform visual acuity testing to measure how clearly you see with each eye. Refraction and eye movement testing may be followed by specific tests (i.e.. Schirmers) to evaluate the extent of your dry eye)
How is Dry Eye Treated?
Once your optometrist has determined the cause and degree of your dry eye they will develop a personalized treatment plan for you.This may include:
- Eye drops/ointments to add or conserve tears and relieve your discomfort
- Eye drops to increase tear production
- Antibiotics to treat infection that irritates the eye
- Recommending lifestyle changes including modifying your computer settings
- Other In-office or At- Home treatments
Contact Our Local Eye Doctor in Texas Today
Irritation and discomfort from dry eyes affect every aspect of your life. It can lead to decreased work performance and avoiding recreational activities the rest of your family enjoys. If you think you may be suffering from dry eye, the friendly teams here at Eyesite Texas are ready to help.Call us in Katy at (281) 644-2010 or our location in Houston (Memorial) at (713) 984-9144.