Dry eye is a common condition, with several sources estimating almost half of all adult Americans experience symptoms. If you struggle with itchy, dry or tearing eyes as a result of dry eye, this blog is for you. Here, the team at Atlanta Vision Institute breaks down the causes of and treatment for this bothersome condition.
Dry eye can be a result of any of the following:
Lack of tears can occur due to the natural effects of aging, certain health conditions such as diabetes and thyroid disorders, or certain medications like antihistamines, decongestants or birth control pills. It can also occur after certain medical procedures like LASIK.
Eyelid abnormalities and abnormalities with the oily layer of the tear film can affect the tears’ ability to “stick” to the surface of the eyes, causing them to evaporate too quickly. Windy, dry or smoky environments, as well as prolonged periods of digital device use, can lead to increased evaporation of tears.
Your tears consist of three layers: water, oil and mucous. If there is a problem with one or more of these layers, the balance between the layers is thrown off and dry eye can occur.
To determine the best form of treatment for dry eye, the first step is to schedule an appointment with an eye doctor who can evaluate your symptoms. Treatment varies based on the root cause of the problem. For instance, if your eyes tend to dry out when you spend a lot of time working on the computer, we may recommend giving your eyes a break and blinking more often. If your dry eye is a result of dry, windy or smoking environments, using a humidifier or artificial tear drops available over the counter can help.
In-office treatments are also available. Punctal plugs are tiny devices placed in the eyelids to retain tears longer. LipiFlow is an innovative treatment that helps restore optimal function to the meibomian glands. During treatment, the glands are gently heated to stimulate the production of the oily layer of the tear film so the tears do not evaporate too quickly.
Atlanta Vision Institute wants to help you find some much needed relief from dry eye. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and discuss treatment options with our team.