Tears aren’t just for crying—every time you blink, tears cover your eye to lubricate and moisten the cornea, keeping your vision clear, washing away debris and decreasing the risk of infection. If you are not making enough (or the right kind) of tears, you have dry eye syndrome or dry eye disease. This can negatively impact your vision, comfort and protection your eyes need to see properly.
If left untreated, chronic dry eye syndrome can cause long-term irritation, inflammation and even scarring of the eye. Fortunately, with the right dry eye control and treatment measures, this condition is very manageable.
What Causes Dry Eye Syndrome?
There are generally two problems that cause dry eye syndrome:
You’re not making enough tears—The tear glands in your eyelids and around your eye produce an insufficient amount of tears to keep your eye moist and lubricated. This sometimes happens as we age, or due to other medical conditions, pregnancy, hormone replacement therapy, other medications, or even from living in a windy or dry climate where tears evaporate too quickly.
Poor quality tears—There are three components to the tears your tear glands produce, and they spread out into three layers over the surface of the cornea. The layer closest to the cornea is a mucus layer that helps the second layer, made of a saline water solution, spread evenly over the eye. The third layer, on the top of the other two layers, is oily, which helps slow evaporation of the water layer. Your tears also contain vitamins, proteins and electrolytes to keep the eye healthy. A deficiency in any of these layers or elements can cause dry eye symptoms.
At Point of View Eyewear, your dry eye treatment doctor can diagnose the underlying causes of your dry eye problems and prescribe a successful dry eye treatment regimen for you.
Dry Eye Symptoms
Some of these symptoms may also be indicative of other eye conditions that require treatment as well. If you experience any of these symptoms, please schedule an appointment with our eye doctor so that you can get a correct diagnosis and treatment to prevent vision loss or eye damage:
- Feeling like there is grit or sand in the eye
- Burning or stinging sensation in the eye
- Stringy eye discharge
- Irritation and redness
- Sudden bursts of excess tears after periods of very dry eyes
- Periods of blurry vision
- The eyelids feel heavy
- When you cry, you’re not producing tears
- Contact lens discomfort
- Eye fatigue
- Difficulty during computer work, reading or anything that requires visual attention for extended periods of time
Dry Eye Control and Treatment Techniques
There are a number of successful dry eye treatments that our Point of View eye doctor can recommend. Getting the correct treatment for your individual dry eye causes requires a thorough eye exam and medical history with your dry eye treatment doctor. Some of the potential dry eye control and treatment options include:
- Treating any underlying medical condition that is causing the dry eye symptoms.
- Over-the-counter or prescription eye drops, ointments and gels; please talk with your dry eye treatment doctor for a product recommendation for your individual condition before trying an OTC dry eye treatment.
- Cyclosporine—an anti-inflammatory medication that decreases eye damage and helps increase tear production.
- Switching medications if a medication to treat another condition is compounding your dry eye problems.
- Changing contact lenses or wearing habits to decrease irritation and improve tear production.
- Silicone and collagen lacrimal plugs to temporarily prevent tear drainage to the nose.
- In some rare cases, punctal cautery surgery may be recommended to keep tears on the surface of the eye from draining, helping the tears stay on the eye longer.
Call Your Dry Eye Treatment Doctor in Falls Church
Point of View Eyewear in Falls Church provides dry eye and control treatment services that can address the underlying causes of dry eye to improve your vision, comfort and quality of life. It’s important to schedule an appointment with your dry eye treatment doctor in Falls Church to get the most effective treatment for you. Please call us today at 703-237-6500; we look forward to hearing from you!
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