What’s dry eye?
Dry eye is a common, chronic condition disproportionately affecting older adults where you don’t have enough quality tears to lubricate and properly care for your eyes. Producing sufficient tears is necessary to maintain optimal health of the front surface of your eye, which helps provide crisp, clear vision.
With every blink, tears are dispersed across the front surface of your eye, called the cornea. These tears keep your cornea clear and healthy and reduce your risk of developing eye infections.
Surplus tears in the eyes flow into small ducts in the corners of your eyelids and eventually drain into the back of the nose. Dry eyes can occur when tear production and drainage are imbalanced.
What are the signs and symptoms of dry eye?
Here are some common signs and symptoms of dry eye:
- Feeling like something is in your eye
- Sensitivity to light
- Eye discomfort
These dry eye symptoms are often chronic, and you should mention them during your office visit with Dr. Choi.
What causes dry eye?
A variety of risk factors increase your chances of developing dry eyes:
Developing dry eye is often a part of aging and eventually affects the majority of men and women over age 65.
Women are more likely than men to develop dry eyes thanks to the hormonal changes caused by pregnancy, oral contraceptives, and menopause.
Certain medicines, including antihistamines, blood pressure medications, and antidepressants, can decrease tear production.
Underlying Medical Conditions
When conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, or thyroid problems are present, you’re more likely to experience dry eye.
Exposure to factors, such as smoke, wind, or dry climates, tear evaporation can cause dry eye symptoms. Staring at a computer screen for long periods of time also contributes to drying of the eyes.
Long-term use of contact lenses is also a common cause of dry eye.
How is dry eye treated?
Dr. Choi prescribes highly effective treatments to keep your eyes healthy and comfortable and prevent your vision from the effects of dry eye.
First, a primary approach to treating dry eye typically involves managing dry eye by adding tears found in over-the-counter artificial tear solutions, conserving tears, increasing tear production, and treating the inflammation of your eyelids or eye surface that causes dry eyes.
Dr. Choi also suggests self-care solutions, such as wearing sunglasses to reduce exposure to wind and dry climates, remembering to blink regularly while reading or staring at a computer screen, and taking certain natural supplements.
If you’re experiencing dry eye symptoms, call or schedule an appointment online today.