Dry eye is a condition that’s known to millions of people across the country. In most cases, it can be diagnosed and treated fairly easily. Severe cases of dry eye, however, could lead to vision problems and more serious eye conditions. The answers to the following FAQs from Littlefield Optometry provide more information about dry eye causes, symptoms, and treatment.
What Is Dry Eye Syndrome?
Dry eye is a condition where your eyes aren’t producing sufficient quality tears to wash away irritants or protect them from infection. As a result, your eyes become dry, irritated, and itchy. In some cases, the eyes produce an abundance of low-quality tears that are lacking in oil. These tears evaporate quickly, however, and are insufficient for alleviating dry eye symptoms.
How Does Tear Production and Composition Affect Dry Eye?
Normal eyes are protected by a tear film composed of mucous, water, and oil. If the film lacks oil, the water will evaporate, leaving your eyes dry and itchy. Dry eyes can also occur if your eyes don’t produce enough tears to keep them lubricated and moist.
What Causes Your Eyes to Stop Producing Tears?
Various factors affect tear production. Age and medical conditions like diabetes, lupus, Sjogren’s syndrome, and others can affect tear production. Dry eye can result as a side effect of certain types of eye surgeries or medications. Environmental elements like wind, air pollution, pollen, etc. can also cause dry eye symptoms
What Symptoms Are Associated with Dry Eye?
Dry eye symptoms range from redness and itchiness to burning sensations, mucous in or around your eyes, blurred vision, sensitivity to light, and watery eyes. You may have a hard time reading, watching TV, or driving, particularly at night.
Is Dry Eye Syndrome Harmful to Your Eyes?
Severe cases of dry eye can make you more prone to corneal abrasions or corneal diseases. When your eyes aren’t protected by a tear film, you’re also at greater risk for bacterial eye infections.
How Is Dry Eye Diagnosed?
Our optometrist can diagnose dry eye syndrome during an eye exam. We’ll evaluate your eye health, take note of your symptoms, and test your eyes for tear production to confirm dry eye syndrome. If you do suffer from dry eye, our optometry specialist will recommend options for treatment.
How Is This Condition Treated?
Artificial tears are often used for mild cases of dry eye syndrome. For more severe cases, we may recommend prescription eye drops or medications to alleviate symptoms or stimulate the production of natural tears.
Schedule an Appointment with Our Optometry Professionals for Dry Eye Treatment in Kansas City
Call Littlefield Optometry today at (816) 888-5400 for more information or to schedule an appointment with our eye doctor.