Dry Eye Causes and Symptoms From Your Kennesaw Optometrist
"Dry eye" may sound like a minor, transient problem, but it's actually a potentially serious disorder that can imperil your eyes' health, comfort and function. While anyone can experience momentarily dry eyes under the right conditions, chronic dry eye usually has its origins in specific underlying ailments, lifestyle habits, or age-related physical changes. But don't worry, because our team at Hobson Eye Associates can identify and treat your particular dry eye triggers.
Common Causes and Symptoms
Your eyes are supposed to be hydrated, lubricated, and protected from germs at all times. Your tear ducts achieve this goal by creating a precisely-balanced mix of substances called tear film. Tear film consists of three layers: an innermost mucous layer, a layer of water, and an outermost layer of lipids (oils). All three of these layers play critical roles in supporting your eyes' well-being. Too little mucous, and the water won't bind to the eye. Too little water and the eye will never be hydrated. Too little oil, and the water will evaporate too quickly. If anyone of these substances is out of balance with the others, dry eye usually results. Such imbalances may be due to:
- Blocked meibomian (oil-producing) glands
- Age-related dryness
- Medications that have a drying effect
- Diseases such as Sjogren's syndrome, which can produce dryness
- Wind exposure (including ceiling-fan wind)
Modern technology has led to yet another common cause of dry eye. Constant, uninterrupted computer use can cause you to bring too infrequently for the eyes to stay bathed in tear film. That's because the eyes simply don't blink at their normal rate when staring at a computer screen.
Even if you're not sure of the cause of your dry eye, the symptoms are clear enough. They include redness, itching, a "foreign object" sensation in the eye, blurry vision, and even excessive eye watering.
Diagnosis and Treatment at Hobson Eye Associates
You don't want to suffer from dry eye for any length of time. Extended dryness can leave the cornea unprotected, making it prone to infections and ulcerations that could affect your sight. Any of our optometrists at Hobson Eye Associates can run a series of tests and evaluations to find the cause of your problem. In addition to asking you about your medication use, medical history and lifestyle, we can examine the eyes and measure your tear production/balance. We can then prescribe treatments such as:
- Artificial tears and prescription eye drops
- Meibomian gland treatment
- Changes to your medications or medical treatment regimen
- Lifestyle changes such as avoiding wind and taking regular breaks from the computer
- Nutritional recommendations or supplements to increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids
Schedule an Appointment with Your Kennesaw Optometrist
Dry eye is an uncomfortable threat to your ocular health, but you don't have to live with it. Now that you understand how we address the irritating symptoms of dry eye by addressing their underlying causes, take advantage of our skill and expertise so you can start enjoying healthier, comfortable eyes. Call Hobson Eye Associates at %CLINT_PHONE% to schedule a consultation and evaluation!