Dry eye disease, or syndrome, occurs when your eyes do not produce enough tears. This condition can be very uncomfortable and interfere with your daily life. When your eyes do not make enough moisture, they become irritated and inflamed. This leads to dry eyes. Treatment for dry eyes can improve the symptoms.
What Causes Dry Eye Disease
Your eye has three layers of fluid that keep them lubricated. If any one of these layers malfunctions, you can get dry eyes. Your eye needs enough moisture to cover it. Certain medical conditions and medications make you more susceptible to developing dry eyes. Vitamin A deficiency can also trigger eye dryness. Aging can play a role as well. When your eyes are not lubricated, the friction irritates the eye. Eye drops are a common treatment for dry eye disease.
What Are the Symptoms of Dry Eye?
Dry eye disease causes several symptoms. One of the symptoms is a stinging or burning sensation in the eye. You may only experience these symptoms in certain conditions, such as if it’s windy or you are in a dry indoor space.
The lack of lubrication can also cause a scratchy feeling. You may experience the sensation of having something in your eye. This can lead you to rub your eyes, which furthers the irritation. To avoid this uncomfortable issue, it is a good idea to use eye drops and artificial tears. You can also get mucus in or around your eyes with dry eyes.
Dry eye disease can also cause increased sensitivity to light. Make sure to wear UV protection to keep your eyes safe. The irritation causes redness in the eyes, as well as the sensation of having something in your eye. The inflammation can make your vision worse and make it difficult to drive at night. Additionally, you can get eye fatigue. When you have dry eyes, you will likely want to avoid contacts as they can further irritate the eyes.
How Can You Prevent Dry Eyes?
There are several ways to prevent dry eyes. But first, it is important to know what triggers your dry eye symptoms. Air can dry out your eyes, so you should avoid air or wind blowing into your eyes. Dry air can also trigger symptoms, so a humidifier can be helpful. Sunglasses and other eyewear can protect your eyes from external triggers. Additionally, it is helpful to take breaks when doing eye-strenuous activities.
How Do You Treat Dry Eyes?
The best treatment for dry eyes is prevention. You can make lifestyle changes such as drinking more water and buying a humidifier. If your symptoms do not improve, you may need to combine treatments. There are also tear inserts, which dissolve and release lubrication. Another option is punctal plugs, which slow the tear draining process.
To discuss options further, call Abraham Eye Associates at (484) 209-0800. You can also visit our office in Villanova, Pennsylvania. You and your doctor can create the best treatment plan for you.