Dry eye syndrome is a common condition of the eye. It occurs when your eyes don't produce enough of your own natural tears. Dry eye can also occur if the tears that your eyes produce are of poor quality. Our staff at Erie Optical in Mentor, OH, can diagnose and alleviate the discomfort you feel from dry eye.
What Causes Dry Eye?
Dry eye can occur due to a number of reasons. These include:
- Aging: As you get older, your eyes produce fewer, high-quality tears.
- Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions that can cause dry eyes such as diabetes, lupus rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disorders, lupus, and scleroderma.
- Medication: Certain medications can cause dry eyes such as birth control, acne medication, antihistamines, decongestants, antidepressants, and hormone replacement therapies.
- Laser eye surgery: Laser eye surgery can cause dry eye. In most cases, the condition is only temporary, and it will reverse on its own.
- Tear gland damage: Inflammation and radiation can cause tear gland damage which can cause dry eye.
- Increased tear evaporation: Wind, smoke, dry air, working on a computer, reading, and blinking less often can cause your tears to evaporate, resulting in dry eye.
What Are the Symptoms of Dry Eye?
The symptoms of dry eye can cause eye discomfort. They include:
- Feeling like there is a foreign object in your eye
- Stinging or burning
- Redness of the eye
- Blurry vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Watery eyes
- Stringy mucus in the eyes
How Is Dry Eye Diagnosed?
There are a few ways that you eye doctor can determine if your symptoms are due to dry eye.
- Comprehensive eye exam: Your eye doctor can detect dry eye during an eye exam. They can also determine the cause.
- Schirmer test: This test is designed to measure the volume of your tears. Your optometrist would place blotting strips of paper under your lower lid. After five minutes, they would check the strip to measure your tear production.
How Is Dry Eye Diagnosed?
There are several treatment methods for dry eye. The one that your optometrist chooses would depend on the severity of your condition.
- Artificial tears: Artificial tears are a common treatment option to add moisture to your eyes.
- Tear stimulating drugs: These drops are designed to help your eyes produce more natural tears.
- Eye inserts: These inserts would be placed between your lower lid and your eyeball. During the day, they dissolve, keeping your eyes moist.
- Punctal plugs: Punctal plug hold your hear ducts open to help you produce more tears. Your optometrist would start with temporary plugs, and if they are successful, permanent plugs would be placed.
Schedule an Appointment Today!
If you are suffering from the symptom of dry eye, schedule an appointment with Erie Optical in Mentor. Our doctor of optometry can create a dry eye treatment plan specifically for your condition. You can call us at 440-255-7727 to schedule an appointment today!