Roughly 16 million Americans struggle with a condition known as dry eye. If you have dry eye, you may notice your eyes feel scratchy or itchy much of the time. They may sting or burn or appear red and irritated. Dry eye, alone, is usually not serious, but it can be a symptom of a more pressing medical condition. Your optometrist in Red Bank, NJ, can diagnose and treat dry eye.
What Causes Dry Eye?
If you have dry eye, this means your body isn’t producing enough tears to effectively lubricate your eyes. There could be several reasons why:
- Some medications cause dry eye as a side effect, especially if you’re taking them to control allergies.
- Too much time at the computer, staring at your screen without blinking often enough, could be to blame.
- Your dry eye could be a symptom of diabetes, lupus, thyroid issues, or other medical conditions.
- You may be spending too much time in environments that are smoky, dry, or windy.
- Your dry eye could be a side effect of recent laser eye surgery.
Regardless of why your eyes may feel dry and uncomfortable, you need fast relief. Make an appointment with your eye professional to learn more.
Who Is Most At Risk of Developing Dry Eye?
Anyone can experience bouts of dry eye, but some people are more prone to this condition than others. For example, if you’re a female over the age of 50, you’re more at risk. Poor diet may also bump you to the top of the list. Diets that are deficient in Vitamin A or healthy fats can contribute to dry eye. Wearing contact lenses is another risk factor.
Dry eye is a common condition that probably affects many of the people around you, though you don’t know it. Treatment is usually pretty simple, and it brings immediate relief. So, if you’re still suffering with dry, itchy, irritated eyes, call your optometrist today.
What Can Be Done to Treat Dry Eye?
Your optometrist in Red Bank, NJ, will be happy to sit down with you to discuss treatment options for dry eye. For most people, they include:
- Using over-the-counter eyedrops, called artificial tears, to help lubricate your eyes
- Taking a prescription medication such as cyclospirine
- Making simple lifestyle changes, such as drinking more water or avoiding the direct flow of an air conditioner
- Wearing plugs in your tear ducts to prevent your tears from draining away too quickly
Often, simple changes you make at home can help to alleviate the worst symptoms of dry eye. You might invest in a home humidifier, for instance. You might also try getting more sleep at night, especially if you’re sleep-deprived. Wearing sunglasses outdoors may help, too, especially on dry, windy days. And taking frequent breaks from staring at your computer screen is another good idea.
In extreme cases, your eye professional may recommend surgery to correct dry eye. However, this treatment is rare.
See Your Optometrist in Red Bank, NJ, Today
For relief from dry eye in the Red Bank area, call Bright Eyes Optometry today. Our experienced and friendly team is happy to schedule a time that works well for you. And our clinicians will sit down with you to discuss your best course of treatment for dry eye and other eye-related conditions.