Most people experience dry eyes at some time or another. Usually, it is caused by environmental conditions like wind, heat, or dust. Other people however, suffer from chronic dry eyes, which cause discomfort. Tears are the natural cleanser of the eye and dry eyes may be more susceptible to disease. Treatment for dry eyes is no longer limited to applying eye drops. Your ophthalmologist may have additional dry eye treatment options for you to try.
There are numerous causes that can contribute to dry eyes. You may have more than one contributing factor.
- Age – As you get older, you are more likely to suffer from dry eyes.
- Gender – Women are more likely to develop dry eyes than men are. Hormonal differences may be the primary cause.
- Environmental conditions – Smoke, dust, bright light, and dry climate all contribute to dry eye problems.
- Medical conditions – Inflammation of the eyelid, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and thyroid problems contribute to dry eyes.
- Medications – Certain medications can cause your eyes to dry, including antihistamines and blood pressure medications.
Dr. Huynh will try to isolate the reasons you suffer from dry eyes and provide the appropriate treatment.
- Artificial tears – There are numerous types of artificial tears on the market. Some merely replace the tears you normally make, others may be medicated or contain a gel to keep the eye hydrated longer. Hypoallergenic artificial tears are recommended because they do not have as many artificial ingredients.
- Anti-inflammatory medication – Steroids or eye drops with cyclosporin A (Restasis) can help reduce the inflammation.
- Allergy treatment – Treating the underlying allergies along with some of the other treatments above may improve dry eyes.
- Treat environmental factors – Sometimes this is as simple as removing yourself from smoke filled rooms or remembering to blink more frequently when working at the computer.
- Punctal plugs – This is a minor surgical procedure that plugs the tear ducts, leaving more of your natural tears on your eye to help lubricate.
Dry eyes may be a sign or a symptom of some other more serious condition or problem with medication. You should consult with a qualified ophthalmologist to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. If you suffer from dry eyes, please contact Advanced Eye & Laser Center of California, Inc. to schedule an initial consultation today.