Your eyes depend on their tears to stay moist, uphold eyesight, and maintain comfort. If the tears are not enough to oil and nourish your eyes, you can develop dry eye disease. Dry eye is a prevalent and often lingering problem, especially in adults. Many folks get dry eye disease. But the ailment is not typically severe, and there are steps you can take to treat it.
If your eyes are so dry, you may feel:
Having wet eyes with dry eye may sound unusual. But eye irritation from dry eye can make your eyes produce a lot of tears.
Typically, the tear ducts in your upper eyelids keep your eyes moist. Dry eye occurs when the tears produced do not perform their function. This normally means that your tear glands do not generate enough tears to moisturize your eyes The tear glands may not generate the usual amount of tears due to congestion or inflammation in the glands.
Tears comprise water, oil, and mucus, which guard and nourish the eye's outer surface. The oil helps retain water and prevent it from evaporating. The mucus helps spread the tears evenly over the eye's surface.
If the tears dry too fast and fail to spread squarely over the eyes, dry eye can occur. The condition can be worsened by air conditioning, dry or windy weather, and certain medicines.
Any person can develop dry eye, but you could be at a higher risk if you:
Your treatment plan will be based on what is causing your dry eye so that it can alleviate your symptoms. Some of the treatments include:
Mild dry eye can resolve by using artificial tears that you can get over the counter. Eye doctors typically recommend additive-free artificial tears.
Your eye doctor may give you a prescription for medical creams, ointments, or eye drops if your dry eye is a bit serious.
Patients with severe dry eye may prefer wearing specialty contacts that hold moisture and help keep the eyes from drying out.
Punctal plugs are a treatment that uses small silicone pads or gentle heat to help lubricate the eyes and ease discomfort from dryness.
Light therapy uses light energy to treat dry eye. Combined with eyelid massages, light therapy can help ease severe dry eye symptoms.
Eyelid surgery may be necessary if your eyelids are too loose, causing tears to flow away too fast from your eyes. But this treatment is rare. Discuss your options with your eye doctor. Knowing what is causing your dry eye can help improve your symptoms.
For more on the main causes of dry eye and how to treat it, visit Eyecare Center Optometrist, PSC, at our offices in Richmond, Lexington, Beattyville, Irvine, or McKee, Kentucky. Call (859) 208-2020, (859) 623-6643, (859) 272-2449, (606) 464-8148, (606) 726-9321, or (606) 287-8477 to book an appointment today.