What Causes Dry Eye and What Are My Treatment Options?

Dry eye is an eye condition that is exactly what it sounds like it is. It’s the feeling that your eyes are dry and irritated. It’s a common condition, affecting about 26 million Americans. Dry eye goes by many different names including dry eye syndrome and dry eye disease.

Common dry eye symptoms include:

Symptoms can come on sporadically in different environments such as dry and windy conditions outside or inside with indoor air conditioning or heating systems, which can decrease humidity. Or dry eye can be a chronic condition, which is more common in older people. In fact, about 5 million people in the United States over age 50 have chronic dry eye syndrome.

What causes dry eyes?

Tears are important to keep your eyes lubricated and healthy. Poor quality tears or not enough tears are the two main reasons for dry eyes.

Tears are made up of water, oil, and mucus.  In some cases, tears don’t have enough water to keep the surface of your eyes moist. In other cases, your tears are deficient in oil, which weighs down the tears and keeps the water from evaporating too quickly.

Dry eye is more common among women and, as mentioned above, older people. Other factors that contribute to dry eye include:

Dry eye treatment options

The first step in addressing dry eye symptoms is to boost the humidity with a humidifier in the places you spend the most time. Other simple treatments that may help are nutritional supplements that help increase tear production, drinking plenty of water, and using over-the-counter lubricating eyedrops.  

If these options don’t provide the relief you need from chronic dry eye, we at Clarity Vision Care may be able to help. Dr. Hieu Huynh offers the following advanced treatment options:

Prescription medications

If over-the-counter eyedrops don’t work, prescription medication or eyedrops may be more effective. Dr. Huynh reviews the medications you’re currently taking to make sure there are no adverse interactions.

Temporary punctal occlusion

In this procedure, Dr. Huynh places temporary plugs to block your tear duct drains so that the moisture and tears stay in your eyes to keep them lubricated. If this procedure works, Dr. Huynh may recommend permanent plugs.

Mibo Thermaflow

Mibo Thermaflow is a procedure that uses heat and massage to help unclog glands that may be preventing proper tear flow. This quick in-office procedure is most effective after three treatments spaced two weeks apart.

Are your eyes itchy and dry? Find out more about dry eye treatments by calling us at Clarity Vision Care in Richardson, Texas, or make an appointment online.

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