Dry eye affects millions of people all over the world. In fact, you have probably had it at some point yourself.
You may have noticed symptoms like irritated or uncomfortable red eyes. While dry eye can happen at random times for various reasons, it can also become an ongoing chronic problem.
Without treatment, chronic dry eye syndrome can end up hurting your eyes and permanently damaging your vision. Keep reading to learn more about dry eye, including the most common dry eye symptoms!
What is Dry Eye?
Dry eye is a dysfunction with the way your eye produces tears. Tears should always be present, not only when you are sad.
They hydrate your eyes, as well as keep them lubricated and provide a barrier. Without a healthy tear film, you can get scratches on your cornea and bad eye infections.
Dry eye can create a lot more problems than just irritation and redness. Other symptoms of dry eye include:
DiscomfortFatigue in the eyesFeeling something stuck in your eyeWatery eyesSensitivity to light
If you do not fix the underlying cause of your dry eye, you could damage your vision. That is why it is so important to find out what exactly is causing your dry eye.
What Causes Dry Eye?
Dry eye can be caused by many different things. Sometimes it is as simple as your environment.
If you live in a dry climate, your eyes may not be creating enough tears to stay healthy. It could also be as complicated as a dysfunction with specific glands in your eyes.
Typically, the cause of dry eye falls into one of two categories. Either you are not making enough tears, or the tears that you are creating are missing something. It is an issue with quantity or quality.
Problems with tear quantity can often come from aging or poor nutrition. Sometimes fixing the problem is as simple as drinking more water.
Other lifestyle changes may include limiting screen time and practicing healthy blinking habits. Screens keep our attention, causing us to go too long without blinking.
Whenever you are at the computer, try setting a timer for twenty minutes. When the timer goes off, pick a spot in the room about twenty feet away.
Focus on that spot for at least twenty seconds while making a conscious effort to blink. This gives your eyes a necessary break and reminds you to refresh them with some blinking.
How Is Dry Eye Treated?
Lifestyle changes are not always enough to stop dry eye. Sometimes the problem is a physical issue that needs to be treated with the help of an eye doctor.
You may need special ointments or drops to help heal your eyes. At Chicago Cornea Consultants, our dry eye specialists offer Intense Pulsed Light Therapy.
IPL therapy reduces inflammation in the lower eyelid, which can cause problems with dry eye. You can also receive a treatment called Lipiflow.
This system gently heats and massages your eyelids to release the oil necessary for healthy tears that can get clogged in your glands. These glands produce oil which coats tears as they are made, making them much more effective.
The best way to determine how to reduce your dry eye symptoms is to visit your eye doctor at Chicago Cornea Consultants for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
Are you experiencing symptoms of dry eye? Schedule an appointment at Chicago Cornea Consultants in Highland Park, IL, today!