Have dry or itchy eyes? You may have chronic dry eye! Chronic dry eye can be caused by a multitude of factors and is usually due to a combination of them.
These factors include your environment, aging, side effects, and more! If you’re tired of dry eye sucking you dry, keep reading to find out more about symptoms to watch out for!
Dry eye causes your eyes to become tired and watery, which can prevent you from seeing clearly. It is especially noticeable while trying to drive at night. Blurry vision is annoying and can be dangerous when not treated as well.
Dry eye is notorious for itchiness, burning, and general discomfort. This can make your eyes feel uncomfortable or extremely painful. For contact lens wearers, it can make putting them in almost impossible. It can also cause light sensitivity which compounds on the pain.
Chronic dry eye is often associated with an unpleasant discharge around the eyes. This substance is usually a stringy mucus build up. There may also be a gritty feeling in your eyes.
Another cosmetic symptom of dry eye is general redness. This symptom can be quite noticeable and may be embarrassing.
There are a few ways to treat dry eye. Of course, artificial tears and drops can treat your symptoms, at least temporarily. Long term treatments attack dry eye at either source.
Chronic dry eye is caused by tear quality or the number of tears produced. You could have chronic dry eye that’s caused by both sources as well.
To treat the quality of the tears, eye doctors usually look at how much oil is being made in the tear. The oil layer of a tear is vital to preventing the moisturizing layer from evaporating.
If the tear is evaporating too quickly, the eye cannot get nutrients it needs. A common solution to fix this problem is with meibomian gland expression.
The meibomian glands are at the edge of the eyelids. These glands produce the oil necessary for tear production. Occasionally, these glands become blocked with a waxy buildup.
During meibomian gland expression, warm compresses may be used to open up the glands. By opening up the glands, your eye doctor can begin breaking down the build-up of wax deposits.
Besides meibomian glad expression, devices that emit heat may be used as well. This system melts the waxy deposits without transferring heat to the eyeball.
For patients looking to treat their dry eye naturally, taking omega-3 fatty acids can help. Omega-3 fatty acids should be taken concurrently, as they cannot treat dry eye alone.
If your eyes are not producing enough tears, existing tears need to stay in the eye longer. This is often accomplished with punctal plugs.
A punctal plug is inserted into the part of your eye that drains tears. These punctal plugs help keep tears in the eye longer, increasing their lifespan. When tears are able to stay in the eye for a longer time, more necessary moisture and nutrients are absorbed.
Dry eye doesn’t have to suck you dry! Learn more about how to treat your dry eye by scheduling a consultation with Colorado Eye Consultants in Littleton, CO!