If you’ve ever experienced dry eyes, you can understand how annoying and distracting the symptoms can be. The occasional feeling of dry eyes is nothing to worry about, but what if the issue is more than that?
Chronic dry eye syndrome is an extremely common condition, affecting millions of Americans per year. Dry eye syndrome is more complicated than many people think. Let’s discuss the causes and treatments of dry eye syndrome and how Aloha Vision Consultants can help.
What Is Dry Eye Syndrome?
Dry eye syndrome occurs when the eyes are either are not producing enough tears, or the tears produced are poor quality. There are many different kinds of dry eye syndrome, and its causes vary greatly. Dry eye syndrome causes dry, itchy, red eyes that need frequent lubrication with over-the-counter eye drops.
Dry eye syndrome, as we mentioned, can be caused by a lack of sufficient tear production, leading to poor eye lubrication and irritation. But the more common type of dry eye syndrome is caused when the eye does not produce good quality tears.
This type of dry eye, called evaporative dry eye syndrome, occurs when the eye does not produce enough oil. The oil layer in your tear film is responsible for keeping the other layers of the tears from evaporating too quickly. When the oil is not sufficient, tears evaporate too quickly, leaving you with dry, uncomfortable eyes.
Dry eye syndrome can also be a secondary condition as a result of blepharitis. Blepharitis is a condition that causes inflammation of the eyelids, which can cause an imbalance in the tear film.
Dry Eye Symptoms
Dry eye symptom may vary from person to person and can vary greatly in severity. Symptoms can depend on the cause, as well.
Here are some of the more common dry eye symptoms:
- Stinging or burning
- Foreign body sensation (the feeling that something is in your eye)
- Discharge from the eye
Dry Eye Treatments
Treatments for dry eye may depend on the cause. Sometimes, a lifestyle change can help. For instance, wearing protective eyewear when exposed to windy environments or including more omega-3s in your diet. However, there are sometimes where prescription eye drops and/or medical procedures may be necessary. Chronic dry eye syndrome is not always curable but can be managed.
If you would like to know more about dry eye and your treatment options here at Aloha Vision Consultants, contact our Honolulu office to schedule an appointment!