If your eyes constantly feel dry, grainy, or irritated, you don’t have to live with that discomfort. Dry eyes are a common, treatable medical condition, and therapeutic optometrist Katherine Egan, OD, can help. At Egan Eye Associates in Frisco, Texas, Dr. Egan determines the cause of your dry eyes and helps you get quick relief. Schedule an appointment over the phone.
Dry eye syndrome, also known simply as dry eyes, is the lack of tears necessary to lubricate your eyes and protect them from irritants. That can mean your eyes produce too few tears. It can also mean you produce low-quality tears that don’t contain all the oils, water, mucus, and proteins necessary to do their job.
In addition to dryness, other symptoms of dry eye syndrome include:
One confusing symptom of dry eyes is that your eyes can get very wet and teary (but still feel irritated). When that happens, it’s because your body may respond to the dryness by producing lots of low-quality tears, which are mostly water and evaporate quickly.
Be sure to get treatment if you suffer from dry eyes. Despite the condition’s being annoying or unpleasant, without the nourishing, protective function of tears, you’re more likely to experience eye infection or damage.
Dry eyes can have a number of different causes. There may be one or more reasons for your dry eyes, and treatment usually involves addressing the underlying cause.
Dry eyes may be the result of your environment, lifestyle, or job. Many people with dry eyes work in an office and spend hours on end working at a computer. You may get dry eyes if you spend a lot of time in dry, windy (or air-conditioned) places, or if you’re exposed to secondhand smoke.
Often, dry eyes is a symptom or complication of other eye problems, including blepharitis, an inflammation of the eyelids. Temporarily, you may have dry eyes after undergoing an eye procedure such as laser eye surgery. Some people have dry eyes from wearing the wrong contact lenses.
It’s normal for tear production to drop with age, especially after age 65 or if you’re a woman who has undergone menopause.
Dry eyes can be a side effect of medication, including but not limited to various antihistamines, decongestants, antidepressants, and high blood pressure medications. It’s also a symptom of certain chronic health condition, such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and thyroid conditions.
To relieve your dry eyes and other symptoms, Dr. Egan may prescribe eye drops that stimulate tear production and improve inflammation. In the short-term, over-the-counter “artificial tears” eye drops can also help.
To prevent dry eyes from returning and get long-term relief, it’s important to determine what’s causing it. Dr. Egan may recommend wearing contact lenses designed for people prone to dry eyes or trying different medications for your health conditions that are less likely to cause dry eyes as a side effect. You may also need to make a few changes to your habits, like taking regular breaks when you work on the computer.
To get help for dry eyes, schedule an appointment at Egan Eye Associates online or over the phone.