Do you find yourself experiencing itchy, painful, red eyes on a regular basis? If so, you may actually be suffering from a treatable eye problem. Dry eye is a relatively common condition in which the eyes natural tears aren’t enough to keep the eye lubricated and functioning properly. While it is not typically classified as a serious condition, it can be incredibly uncomfortable.
Sometimes, people experience dry eye because of environmental conditions or due to certain activities such as looking at a phone or computer screen for a long period of time. No matter the cause for your dry eye, you will likely do what it takes to get back to feeling comfortable again.
Unfortunately, dry eye can come with a host of symptoms that can get in the way of regular activity. Common symptoms include:
Itching, burning, stinging
Eye redness that may come and go
Difficulty seeing at light
Mucus in or around the eye area
Difficulty driving at night
These symptoms may come on suddenly or gradually over a period of time. If you experience any of the symptoms described here, then you should speak with your doctor so you can get to the root cause of the dry eye and determine the appropriate treatment plan.
There are treatment options available for individuals who have dry eye. The type of treatment is selected based on the severity and needs of the patient. Common treatment plans include:
There are a variety of medications that may be used to treat the symptoms associated with dry eye. Common medications are eye drops, tear-stimulating medication, eye inserts, or other medication to decrease inflammation.
There are other treatments that can remedy dry eye. Changing contact lenses, closing your tear ducts, unblocking glands, or using light therapy.
Unfortunately, if left untreated, dry eye can turn into other serious conditions. The most common concerns of untreated, dry eye are eye infections, damage to the surface of the eye, and the overall decrease in your quality of life. Nobody should have to suffer in silence. If you think you have dry eye, then it’s time to speak to your medical provider.
While dry eye may not be totally preventable, there are things that you can do to better your odds. A few tips are:
Stop smoking and avoid smoke if possible
Avoid air blowing directly into your eyes
Wear protective eyewear
Use artificial tears as needed
Add moisture to the air as needed
Be aware of environmental changes that may impact your eyes
Give your eyes a break from screens, or other tedious tasks
Doing these things can greatly reduce the chances of your eyes getting tired or too dry. However, keep in mind, some people develop dry eye due to natural aging or even because of their diet.
There are a few categories that may put you at higher risk. For example, you are more likely to develop dry eye if you are a woman, over the age of 50, wear contact lenses, or have a deficiency in Vitamin A.
Dry eye can certainly cause a lot of pain and discomfort. Don’t let it stand in your way or stop you from living your everyday life! If you suspect you have dry eye, please reach out to us. We are more than happy to answer your questions and help create a treatment plan that works for you. We look forward to hearing from you. Call our offices today for a consultation.