Having eyes that are constantly itchy, burning, or irritated is difficult. Dry eye can even lead to light sensitivity or blurred vision. This condition can be caused by any number of reasons including age, injury, or can even be a result of certain medications. Understanding the symptoms of dry eye and learning how to treat it can go a long way to restoring the quality of life. The professionals at Ogata EyeCare examine dry eye in more depth to provide you an overview of the causes and potential solutions for this condition.
What is dry eye?
Dry eye is a very common condition in which the body is unable to produce enough lubrication in the eyes. There can be many reasons that lubrication in the eyes is reduced. Most commonly this is because a person does not produce enough tears, or the person produces a very low quality of tears. Tear production can be impacted by age, certain medications, or damage to the tear gland in the eye. Poor quality tears may be a result of an imbalance in the components that make up tears. Tears are composed of oil, water, and mucus. If, for example, the glands on the eyelids responsible for producing the oil component of a tear becomes clogged, the quality of produced tears can be compromised.
What are the symptoms?
The most common symptom of dry eye is a feeling that the eyes are stinging or burning. This is a result of having eyes that are too dry. Certain situations can make dry eye symptoms feel worse. For example, sitting on a dry airplane or in an air-conditioned room can compound the symptoms of dry eye. Situations where the air is actively blown across the eyes, such as riding a bike or having the windows down in the car, can also increase the dry eye sensation. Other symptoms of dry eye include scratchy or itchy eyes, a stinging sensation, or stringy mucus forming in the eyes. Further, your eyes may appear red or you may experience blurred vision. Dry eye can even create a sensitivity to light in some cases.
Is there dry eye treatment?
If you notice prolonged symptoms of dry eye it is time to see our optometrists. Your doctor will be able to work with you to better understand your day to day activities and the environment. Learning about what may be leading to the dry eye can help your doctor make suggestions, such as using fully wrapped sunglasses when enjoying the outdoors, limiting screen time, or adding moisture into the air at home. Today, there are many synthetic eye drops that can be prescribed to help better lubricate the eyes, or even oral medications to reduce inflammation that often causes dry eyes. Learning how to fully blink may be part of the discussion, as well as home eyelid treatments to improve the function of the tear producing glands that line your eyelids.
Call Ogata EyeCare Today
At Ogata EyeCare we understand that having dry eye can be painful and can impact your day to day life. Our team of caring and knowledgeable optometry professionals are here to help. To learn more about our practice, or to schedule an appointment give us a call at 503-281-1115 in Portland, or 503-624-0666 in Tigard. Stop by today to start living a life free of dry eye.