If your eyes have been feeling dry, itchy, or scratchy lately, you could be experiencing dry eye syndrome. Dry eye is a common eye condition that almost anyone can develop. Our Saint James optometrist can diagnose this condition during an eye exam. These FAQs from Olson Optical explain more about dry eye syndrome and what can be done for treatment.
What is dry eye?
Dry eye syndrome is a condition characterized by dry, itchy eyes. Dry eye syndrome occurs when your eyes stop producing enough or produces poor-quality tears. Lack of moisture results in your eyes becoming red, dry, and itchy.
What is the tear film, and what role does it play in keeping my eyes moist?
The tear film is a multi-layered film that covers your eye when you blink. It consists of three layers, a mucous layer, an oil layer, and a water layer, which work together to lubricate your eyes. The water layer keeps your eyes moist. The mucous layer helps water adhere to the eye surface, and the oil layer prevents water from evaporating. If there’s an imbalance in any of these elements, it can result in dry eye syndrome.
What causes dry eye?
Various factors can affect tear production to cause dry eye. Age is one of the main causes of dry eye as tear production slows down with age. Tear production can also be affected by medications you take, autoimmune diseases, exposure to the elements, and computer overuse. People often blink less when using their computer, which can contribute to dry eye. Our optometrist can conduct tests to diagnose your condition so you can get treatment. Working with an experienced optometry specialist is key to managing dry eye syndrome.
What does dry eye feel like?
When you have dry eye syndrome, your eyes feel itchy, irritated, and gritty, like there’s something on your eye. You may experience blurred vision or sensitivity to light. In some cases, your eyes produce an overabundance of watery tears to compensate for the dryness. Because these tears are poor-quality, they’re ineffective in properly lubricating your eyes.
How is dry eye treated?
Our optometry specialist can recommend dry eye treatment to correspond with the severity of your symptoms. For mild cases of dry eye, our optometrist may recommend artificial tears or eye inserts to keep your eyes moist. We may prescribe eye drops to stimulate tear production for more serious cases. Punctal plugs can also be placed in your eyes to keep tears from draining prematurely.
Visit Our Optometry Team for Dry Eye Treatment in Saint James, MN
To schedule an eye exam for dry eye diagnosis, contact Olson Optical in Saint James at 507-375-2020.