Dry eyes may sound like a minor inconvenience and you may have just been living with it. You don’t have to. Nearly 30 million people in the United States and over 300 million worldwide have been diagnosed with Dry Eye Disease. Most of these people have either learned to live with this eye discomfort or become dependent on drops that offer temporary relief for their dry eyes.
What Causes Dry Eye?
Dry Eye Disease is caused by a lack of tears. Your eyes are lubricated by tears that provide a constant layer of moisture across the surface. Tears help protect your eyes from debris. Tears are much more than just water. They are made up of mucin, a mucous-like substance, lipids, and oils. These components are all from different parts of the eye and a lack of one of these tends to decrease the production of tears making your eyes dry.
What Are the Symptoms of Dry Eye?
Symptoms of dry eye usually affect both eyes and may include:
- Stinging, burning or scratchy sensations in your eyes
- Stringy mucus in or around your eyes
- Sensitivity to light
- Eye redness
- A sensation of having something in your eyes
- Difficulty wearing contact lenses
- Difficulty with nighttime driving
- Watery eyes, which is the body’s response to the irritation of dry eyes
- Blurred vision or eye fatigue
If you experience one or more of these symptoms for a prolonged period of time, you may have dry eye.
What Treatment Options Are Available?
In mild, temporary cases it’s possible you can treat dry eyes through lifestyle changes and lubricating eye drops. Some of these lifestyle changes include frequent breaks from computers or other screens. If artificial tear use doesn’t work, there are also topical prescription medications available.
We strongly recommend your first course of action be seeing an eye doctor though. At Wilkinson Eye Center, we provide many tools to evaluate the structure, function, and glands of the eyes to determine the best dry eye treatment plan for you.
Schedule a Consultation
If your dry eyes are bothering you or you would like to discuss other eye-related issues, give us a call today at (248) 334-4931.