When you are happy or sad, your eyes are filled with tears. Tears help to lubricate the eyes and provides moisture. A tear is produced by the special glands found around the eyes. It contains water for, moisture, oil for lubrication, mucus, and antibodies to prevent infections. Tears play a vital role in maintaining the health of the eyes.
When you suffer from dry eyes, you may begin to have itchiness, blurry vision, or feeling like you have something in your eyes. Your eyes may develop redness or light sensitivity too.
Although dry eyes are characterized by a lack of tears, you can have an opposite reaction. At times, the eyes end up producing too many tears. This happens when the lack of moisture irritates the eyes. The body will send a distress signal to the brain via the nervous system for more lubrication. In turn, the body responds by sending a flood of tears to combat the dryness. But, take note, these tears are water and do not wash the debris away.
Dry eye occurs when the tear-flow system is out of balance. This phenomenon may be triggered by:
1. Aging and menopause
While dry eyes can affect anyone, the problem is most common in people above 50 years. The tear production declines as we age, which in turn causes dry eyes. Age-related dry eye syndrome cannot be prevented, but you can ask a Castle Rock Optometrist to recommend artificial tears that can provide extra lubrication.
Hormonal imbalance at menopause can also affect tear production. Pregnant women or those taking birth control pills can also develop dry eyes.
In most cases, hormone replacement therapy does not work in improving dry eyes and therefore, you may need lubricating eye drops.
Mucus is an important component of tears as it helps to spread the lubrication evenly. However, certain medications can reduce the production of mucus. Medications like antidepressants, antihistamines, or blood pressure medication can cause dry eyes.
If you experience dry eyes after taking certain medications, talk to the doctor. He might give you an alternative medication or lower the dose.
Artificial tears may also be recommended to increase lubrication.
3. Wind exposure
High winds and cold climates can cause the eyes to dry. They tend to cause the tears to evaporate easily leaving the eyes bare. Wind exposure can trigger chronic dryness.
You can wear sunglasses and use eye drops.
4. Vitamin A deficiency
Vitamin A is important for promoting healthy eyes. When you suffer from a vitamin A deficiency, you may develop dry eyes and other eye and vision problems like night blindness.
5. Laser Surgery
You may begin to experience dry eye after laser vision surgery. During the procedure, the doctor will cut the nerves in the cornea, which may affect tear production.
Fortunately, the laser-induced dry eyes are temporary and will resolve in a few weeks. The doctor may include eye drops as part of your treatment.
Dry eye treatment in Castle Rock, CO, involves any of the following:
The most common treatment used for dry eyes is artificial tear drops and ointment. Most of the products can be brought to your local store. But, it may be important to talk to a doctor about your options, especially if you suffer from chronic dry eyes.
If the artificial eye drops do not work, the doctor may switch to eye inserts. These are small clear tubes that are fitted into the eyes like contacts. They release medication into the eyes throughout the day for moisture and lubrication.
Certain procedures may be done to correct the problem. Closing the tear ducts is done when you have a chronic dry eye problem. The primary goal of the procedure is to cause the eye to hold the tears for longer.
LipFlow thermal pulsation can also be done to clear the blocked oil glands.
Visit Founders Eyecare for more information about dry eye symptoms and treatments.