Dry eye frequently causes dryness and irritation, making it a common problem we see at M-Eye Vision in Katy, TX. The good news is that dry eye can be easily diagnosed and treated.
Causes of Dry Eye
Dry eye happens when your eyes can't provide proper lubrication through tears. There are two basic causes. First, your eyes may not produce enough tears to keep your eyes moist. The second potential cause is low-quality tears. This happens if your tears don't contain the right components in the right amounts. Your tears have three different layers: fatty oils, aqueous layer, and mucus. Several factors can increase your risk of having dry eye.
These factors include:
- Being 50 or older
- Being female
- Wearing contact lenses
- Having an autoimmune condition
- Having nutritional deficiencies
Symptoms of Dry Eye
The most common symptom of dry eye is a dry or scratchy feeling in your eyes. You may feel like you have something in your eyes. Additionally, you can experience redness, light sensitivity, blurry vision, and eye strain or fatigue. Ironically, you may also have watery eyes or mucus in or around your eyes. This occurs because your body is trying to compensate for the dryness or irritation.
Treating Dry Eye
Mild dry eye can be treated at home. However, if your dry eye doesn't go away or happens frequently, you'll need to see an optometrist or doctor for treatment.
The most common type of eye drops for dry eye is artificial tears. As the name suggests, these eye drops are designed to lubricate your eyes in the same way your tears do. Another type of eye drop needs to be prescribed by your optometrist. These drops cause your eyes to produce more tears, and you'll need to use them as prescribed.
Tear Duct Plugs or Surgery
In some cases, tears are draining too quickly from your eyes. Your optometrist can use tear duct plugs to keep the tears in your eyes, which reduces dry eye. In rare cases, your eyelid may be too loose, allowing tears to drain too quickly. If this is causing dry eye, you may need surgery to treat it.
Lifestyle changes can also help you manage dry eye symptoms. Avoiding windy conditions and dry air can be helpful. You may need to put a humidifier in your home to moisturize the air. Limiting your screen time and taking frequent breaks from your screens can help. You should also stay hydrated, eat a healthy diet, and wear sunglasses outdoors.
Find Dry Eye Treatment at M-Eye Vision
If you need dry eye treatment in Katy, contact M-Eye Vision. Our optometrist can diagnose dry eye and provide you with the treatment you need to find relief.