What You Should Really Know About Dry Eyes

Dry eye disease is a common eye condition that can significantly impact your day-to-day life. It happens when the eyes don’t produce enough tears or when the tears evaporate too quickly, leading to discomfort and vision problems. 

Keep reading to learn more about dry eye, including its causes, symptoms, and treatments to help you better understand and manage this condition!

What is Dry Eye Disease?

Dry eye disease, also known as dry eye syndrome, is a condition characterized by insufficient tear production or poor tear quality. Tears are essential for maintaining the health of your eyes, as they lubricate the eyes, wash away foreign particles, and provide nutrients to the cornea.

When the eyes don’t produce enough tears or the tears evaporate too quickly, it can lead to a range of symptoms. These symptoms include a burning, stinging, a scratchy sensation in the eyes, redness, irritation, blurred vision, sensitivity to light, stringy mucus in or around the eyes, difficulty wearing contact lenses, and watery eyes as a response to the irritation.

What Causes Dry Eye?

Several factors can contribute to the development of dry eye disease. As you age, your eyes naturally produce fewer tears. 

Women are more likely to develop dry eye, especially during hormonal changes such as menopause or pregnancy. Certain medications, like antihistamines, decongestants, and antidepressants, can reduce tear production. 

Autoimmune disorders, including Sjogren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus, can also affect tear production. Environmental factors, such as dry, windy, or smoky environments, can increase tear evaporation. 

Additionally, the use of digital devices can lead to reduced blinking, which can cause tears to evaporate more quickly. The best way to know what might be causing your dry eye symptoms is to visit your eye doctor at Rosenthal Eye Surgery.

What Can I Do To Help Ease My Dry Eye Symptoms?

In some cases, you might be able to make some lifestyle changes to help alleviate dry eye symptoms. Using artificial tears or lubricating eye drops can help moisten the eyes. 

When using digital devices, take frequent breaks and practice the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. Using a humidifier to add moisture to the air, especially in dry environments, can also be beneficial. 

When outdoors, wear sunglasses or protective eyewear to shield your eyes from wind and dust. Avoid smoky or dusty environments whenever possible. 

Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day is essential, as is consuming a balanced diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help improve tear quality.

What Treatments Are Available For Dry Eye?

In addition to lifestyle changes, several treatment options are available for dry eyes. Over-the-counter artificial tears and lubricating eye drops can provide relief by supplementing the natural tear production and helping to keep the eyes lubricated and comfortable. 

For more severe cases, your eye doctor at Rosenthal Eye Surgery may recommend prescription eye drops, such as Restasis or Xiidra. These medications work by increasing tear production and reducing inflammation in the eyes.

For those with meibomian gland dysfunction, a common underlying cause of dry eye, in-office procedures like BlephEx may be recommended. BlephEx is a painless procedure that involves deep cleaning of the eyelids and lashes to remove debris, bacteria, and other substances that can clog the meibomian glands and contribute to dry eye symptoms. 

By improving the function of these glands, BlephEx can help restore the natural balance of oils in the tear film, leading to better tear quality and reduced dry eye discomfort. The only way to know which treatment may be best for you is to visit your eye doctor at Rosenthal Eye Surgery for a complete evaluation.

At this appointment, your eye doctor will determine the root cause of your symptoms and create a treatment plan to help reduce them.

Are you experiencing symptoms of dry eye syndrome? Schedule an appointment at Rosenthal Eye Surgery in New York, NY, today!

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