What Causes Dry Eyes?
Dry eyes, medically known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca, occurs when your tear ducts don’t provide adequate tears to effectively lubricate your eyes. This chronic condition usually stems from decreased tear production, increased tear evaporation, or an imbalance in tear composition.
Decreased Tear Production
You may develop dry eyes due to decreased tear production naturally as you age. But you can also have this uncomfortable condition due to:
- Regularly staring at a computer screen (computer vision)
- Chronic diseases, including diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis
- Laser eye surgery
- Tear gland damage
Dry eyes from decreased tear production can even be a side effect of certain medications, particularly allergy medications and decongestants. This is why it’s so important to discuss all medications – including over-the-counter varieties – with your optometrist at Mi Vision Eye Care
Increased Tear Evaporation
Increased tear evaporation means that you probably have enough tears, but they don’t effectively lubricate your eyes. This can happen due to:
- Wind, pollution, or dry air
- Blinking less often
- Eyelid problems
In some cases, increased tear evaporation can stem from both environmental and physical issues, like living in a dry climate and having eyelids that turn out (ectropion).
Imbalance In Tear Composition
Your tears are made from oil, water, and mucus. But if your oil glands (meibomian glands) become clogged, your tears might not have enough oil to adequately lubricate your eyes. In many cases, your optometrist can get to the root of a tear imbalance and correct the underlying issue, so you can start producing healthy tears.
Why Should I Be Concerned About Dry Eyes?
Dry eye issues don’t just leave you with dry, scratchy, red eyes, these complications can lead to other serious issues. Untreated dry eyes can:
- Increase your risk of eye infections
- Lead to damage of the surface of your eye
- Make it difficult to see and perform everyday tasks
The sooner you start treatment for dry eyes, the less likely you are to have these serious complications.
Do You Treat Urgent Or Emergency Issues Related To Dry Eyes?
Yes, we treat red, pink, sore and severe dry eyes conditions and we have a Dry Eye protocol we follow since this is not one stop fix but a condition that needs to be manage over time.
How Are Dry Eyes Treated?
Our doctor will evaluate your eyes to determine what’s causing your dryness. Depending on the cause, your dry eye treatment can include:
- Medications to reduce eyelid inflammation
- Eye drops to minimize cornea inflammation
- Tear stimulating prescription medications
- Daily eye inserts to lubricate your eyes
- Punctal plugs
Many dry eye sufferers benefit from punctal plugs. These inserts go right into your tear ducts and block the flow of tears from your eye down into your nose and sinuses. This forces tears, as well as any essential eye drops, to stay on your eyes for longer periods.
Before living another day with dry eyes, see how Mi Vision can help you. Book your appointment through the online scheduler or call the office