Dry eye syndrome is a condition caused by a lack of quality tears for washing your eyes, an activity that keeps your eyes nourished and lubricated. It’s not so much the inability to produce tears as much as the inability to produce the kind of tears your eyes need to function properly and maintain their health. However, it can also be caused by an inability to produce enough of these tears to maintain healthy eye function.
Spotting Dry Eye
The most common signs that you might have dry eye syndrome is the gritty or scratchy feeling in your eyes, a feeling of dryness or soreness that typically gets worse during the course of the day. You may even experience a burning sensation in your eyes, and they may appear red. Other signs of dry eye include your eyelids sticking together when you first wake up, and episodes of temporarily blurred vision which go away when you blink.
Addressing the Problem
In many cases, chronic dry eye syndrome can be managed as an ongoing medical condition. After an initial consultation to determine that the problem is not being caused by another underlying medical issue, such as a problem in the tear glands themselves, treatment for dry eye typically consists of various types of eye drops, depending on the specifics of the situation.
Often, environmental factors, such as living conditions which make it more likely for tears to evaporate without properly lubricating the eyes, will need to be addressed, too. Other potential remedies include changes in diet, the use of eyeglasses, and even acupuncture.
It is important to note that, with ongoing treatment, regular medical consultation is necessary. If current treatments aren’t effective, a change to prescription eye drops may be necessary, or the addition or substitution of other therapies. Failure to respond to the above treatments may even necessitate surgery to correct the problem.
Regular checkups with an eye doctor is indeed an important part of caring for your eyes’ health. More on this in Part 3 of this blog series.