Do your eyes feel dry and gritty, no matter how many times you blink? Maybe you feel like you’ve been staring into a dry wind for 20 minutes when you’ve really just been watching TV? Do your eyes feel irritated more often than not? You may be suffering from dry eye syndrome, a condition that occurs when your eyes are unable to produce enough tears to remain lubricated and healthy. Fortunately, even severe cases of dry eye syndrome are typically very treatable. Find out how to treat dry eyes, and get relief today.
How to Treat Dry Eyes
What Causes Dry Eyes?
Before you learn how to treat dry eyes, let’s dig into the causes of dry eyes. There are several reasons why your eyes could be feeling dryer than normal. If you’ve only experienced dry eyes for a short period of time, cigarette smoke, allergies, or even staring at a computer screen could all be to blame. If you have more of a chronic case of dry eyes, there could be a few other factors at play. For example, dry eyes could be a consequence of aging, or a sign of health issues like Graves’ ophthalmopathy (thyroid eye disease), a hormonal imbalance, a vitamin A deficiency, diabetes, or blepharitis. Some medications and medical procedures like LASIK surgery can also cause dry eyes. Your doctor may run several in-office tests to determine the exact cause of your discomfort, including a comprehensive eye exam, tests to measure the volume or quality of your tears, and more.
What Does the Condition Feel Like?
Just like the name suggests, dry eye syndrome occurs when your eyes can’t produce enough high-quality tears. According to the Mayo Clinic, these symptoms might include general eye irritation, burning, itching, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, unusual eye redness, or a constant gritty feeling like an eyelash is stuck in your eye. You might also experience watery eyes, which is the result of your tear ducts overcompensating by overproducing the watery component of tears. But tears aren’t just water – they also contain essential fatty oils and protein. Overwatering your eyes ultimately won’t help correct the dryness.
How to Treat at Home
Ready to find out how to treat dry eyes? If you have a mild case of dry eye syndrome, you may be able to treat it at home. For example, if your dry eyes were caused by exposure to cigarette smoke, you can try over-the-counter eye drops to lubricate your eyes while your tear ducts recover from the shock. You can also work to reduce your screen time if your dry eyes seem to be caused by blue light exposure. Finally, you can try to unblock the oil glands in your tear ducts with a warm compress or eye mask. If these steps don’t work, your eye doctor can walk you through a few different in-office procedures to treat your dry eyes.
Other Options to Treat Dry Eyes
To treat chronic dry eye syndrome, your doctor may recommend a number of other options:
- Using Special Contact Lenses: Your doctor may be able to prescribe special contact lenses specifically designed to help people with dry eyes.
- Eye Drops: If over-the-counter eye drops aren’t getting the job done, your doctor may recommend antibiotic eye drops to help reduce eyelid inflammation. You can also try prescription eye drops that contain the immune-suppressing medication cyclosporine, which can help stimulate tear production when used for a limited time.
- Surgically Closing Your Tear Ducts: In some cases, your doctor may suggest partially or completely closing your tear ducts for a limited time. This can help keep tears from leaving your eye too quickly.
If you’re struggling with dry eyes, you’re not alone. There are plenty of options to treat dry eye syndrome, and many of them are easy to administer at home. Be sure to reach out to your eye doctor to help determine the best option for you.
If you still have questions about how to treat dry eyes, contact Heffington’s if you live in southwest Missouri. Since 1975, the Heffington family has been assisting the Springfield community with top-quality eye care and affordable eyeglasses and contacts. One of the unique features of our family-owned business is that we manufacture lenses at our own laboratory, giving us total control over the service and pricing, and we’re happy to pass our savings on to you. To learn more about our products and services, please get in touch with us online, send an email to [email protected], or give us a call at 417-869-3937 (Optiland location) or 417-882-3937 (House of Vision location). We look forward to hearing from you!