Dry eye is a common condition that has a range of potential causes. With dry eye, the eyes don’t have enough tears to provide lubrication. This leads to symptoms like redness, irritation, sensations of a foreign body in your eye, itching, blurry vision, and light sensitivity. In some cases, dry eyes produce too many tears to compensate, but these tears are mostly made of water and don’t provide effective lubrication. If you are suffering from this condition, you can get relief with professional dry eye treatment.
What Causes Dry Eyes?
Dry eyes can be caused by an imbalance in your body’s tear-creation system, hormonal changes such as menopause, environmental factors, aging, the side effects of certain medications such as antihistamines, and certain diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune conditions. In many cases, dry eye starts with minor symptoms that worsen over time.
How Are Dry Eyes Treated?
Dry eye treatment depends on factors such as the underlying cause of the condition and your overall eye health. Artificial tear drops and ointments, which provide synthetic lubrication, are available both over-the-counter and by prescription. You might have to try a few different options before you find one that effectively treats your dry eyes. Keep in mind that you should use drops even when your eyes feel fine for optimal effect.
Dr. Patel can perform a simple procedure to close the duct that drains tears from your eyes. In some cases, she will apply a temporary plug to see whether the treatment is effective before recommending permanent plugs. This procedure is usually done under local anesthesia on an outpatient basis.
If the dry eyes are caused by a blockage in the glands that produce tears, Dr. Patel can use a specialized device to remove the blockage and allow tears to flow freely.
Prescription medications like drops or topical ointments can help boost tear production if low production is the underlying issue. Steroid drops may be prescribed if the dry eye symptoms are caused by inflammation. In some cases, supplementing your diet with fish oil can also boost tear production.
If you’re experiencing the symptoms of dry eyes, visit us to learn about proper dry eye treatment at Wichita Vision Institute. Dr. Patel can determine the cause of your dry eyes and recommend the best course of treatment. Contact our office in Wichita to schedule your first appointment.