Dry eyes may be unpleasant, but in most cases, an optometrist can easily figure out what’s causing them and provide effective treatment. The board-certified optometrists at Your Two Eyes Optometry in Berkeley, California, determine the reason for your dry eye and help you manage your symptoms through lifestyle changes and medication. Call the office or use online booking to schedule an appointment today.
Dry eye syndrome results when your eyes don’t receive enough moisture. Your tears are made up of oils, water, mucus, and proteins, and they’re necessary to lubricate your eyes and protect them from irritants. Dry eye syndrome often results when you’re not producing enough tears, but it may also mean your tears are missing some of the necessary chemicals.
In addition to a feeling of dryness, dry eye syndrome causes symptoms such as:
Dry eye syndrome can have consequences beyond these unpleasant symptoms if left untreated. Without the protective function of tears, your eyes become more vulnerable to infection and damage over time.
There’s usually a clear cause for dry eye syndrome. You may produce low-quality or insufficient tears for a number of reasons, including:
If your contact lenses make your eyes feel dry, scratchy, or irritated, you may need to change your lenses or lens care products.
If you spend hours a day looking at a computer, smartphone, or tablet, you blink less, and your tears evaporate faster.
A decline in tear production beginning around age 50 is a normal part of aging, though this affects some people more than others.
Your eyes may dry out if you spend a lot of time in smoky, air conditioned, or dry and windy settings. If you ride a bicycle or travel via airplane frequently, these modes of transportation may also cause your eyes to dry out.
Dry eyes are a symptom of certain chronic illnesses, including diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid conditions, and lupus.
Dry eyes are a side effect of many prescription and over-the-counter medications. These include some, but not all, antihistamines, antidepressants, birth control pills, blood pressure medications, and decongestants.
To treat dry eye syndrome effectively, it’s usually necessary to identify and target the underlying cause.
Mild cases of dry eye syndrome usually respond to over-the-counter lubricating eye drops. If your eyes are moderately or severely dry, your optometrist may recommend drugs to reduce eye inflammation or stimulate tear production.
For lasting improvement, you may need to make eye care or lifestyle changes that directly address the cause of your dry eye syndrome, including changing your contact lenses or taking regular breaks when you use the computer.
For evaluation and treatment of dry eye syndrome, call Your Two Eyes Optometry or schedule an appointment online today.