What are the Causes, Symptoms and How is it Treated?
With every blink, tears bathe and cleanse your eyes providing protection to your cornea and washing away irritants that could damage your sight. Your Optometrists and Ophthalmologists here at Overlake EyeCare, your state-of-the-art eye care facility in Bellevue WA understand that dry eye disrupts this natural protection and opens the gateway for discomfort, damage, abrasions, and infection.
What Is Dry Eye?
In most cases, dry eye (DES, or Dry Eye Syndrome) occurs when your body no longer creates an adequate tear film in either one or both eyes. Either the tears you are producing are of poor quality or you simply no longer produce enough tears to do the job at all.
Causes of Dry Eye:
- Heredity: Dry eye seems to ‘run in the family’
- Medications: Antidepressants, hormone replacement therapy, antihistamines, BP meds
- Age: Tear production decreases as we grow older
- Environment: Smoky, windy areas, dry indoor air, overhead fans can worsen dry eye
- Medical Conditions: Lupus, thyroid diseases, rheumatoid arthritis
Dry Eye Symptoms:
- Gritty, burning sensation
- Light sensitivity
- Feeling that something is in the eye
- Watery eyes
- Blurred vision
- Eye fatigue
- Redness in eye
- Discomfort when wearing contacts
How is Dry Eye Diagnosed?
Your eye doctor will perform a comprehensive eye examination which will include careful attention to your medical and family history as well as any symptoms you may be experiencing. Once the extent and contributing factors of your dry eye are determined, your Overlake EyeCare doctor will work with you to create a treatment plan tailored to your specific circumstances and needs.
How is Dry Eye Treated?
Dry eye treatment will depend on the reason your tears are not doing their job. Treatment may include:
- Antibiotics to treat infection caused by DES
- Eye drops (preservative-free) to add tears and soothe the eye
- Medicated eye drops that will increase your natural tear production
- Tear duct plugs designed to slow the rapid drainage of your natural tears
Your eye doctor may also suggest changes you can make in your home and work environments (such as frequent breaks when working on computers, increasing the humidity in your living area). You may also be reminded to increase your water intake if you spend most of your winter in heated environments.
Call Overlake EyeCare Today!
No one should have to ‘learn to live with’ the discomfort and inconvenience of dry eyes. Your dedicated doctors and family-friendly staff here at Overlake EyeCare in Bellevue WA are ready to help you and your loved ones preserve your eye health. Call for an appointment today. 425-643-2020.