What are Dry Eyes?
Low-quality tears or an inadequate amount of tears can lead to dry eyes. This eye problem makes it difficult to perform regular activities due to discomfort. There are several ways to treat dry eyes and relieve the symptoms, including making lifestyle changes and taking medication.
What Causes Dry Eyes?
Diabetes and other medical conditions can cause changes to the eye glands, which can result in decreased tear production or poor-quality tears. The aging process can have similar effects on eye glands and also cause dry eye symptoms. Decongestants and other medications, wind, smoke, and dry air can also cause dry eyes.
What are the Symptoms of Dry Eyes?
Dryness is a common symptom of dry eyes, but other symptoms can occur such as stinging or burning sensation in the eyes. Some patients also have increased sensitivity to light, blurred vision, or red eyes. Those with dry eyes might also have difficulty seeing while driving at night or when wearing contact lenses. Dry eyes can also lead to watery eyes in some people when their tear ducts fail to drain properly.
Am I at Risk of Having Dry Eyes?
Certain factors can lead to a higher risk for dry eyes. These risk factors include being a woman, inadequate amounts of vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids in the diet, and being 50 years old and up. Patients who wear contact lenses also have a higher risk of experiencing dry eyes.
How are Dry Eyes Treated?
Dr. Hart-Moreland provides diagnostic services and treatment for dry eyes. Treatment for patients with dry eyes involves the use of Restasis, a prescription eye drop that causes natural tears to form. The treatment allows patients to rely less on artificial tears for relief from dry eye symptoms. Patients also find relief from dry eyes with self-care, such as putting a warm washcloth on their eyelids and gently wiping them off to clear away any buildup that has occurred.