Tearing Eyes May Actually Be Dry Eyes
Dry eye sounds so innocuous. It sounds as if you’re maybe dehydrated from our dry Central California summer, and your eyes are a little dry and itchy. Nope. Dry eye is an eye condition that we can diagnose and treat at Central Valley Eye Medical Group before it impacts your vision.
What is dry eye?
Dry eye is a condition where a person’s eyes are insufficiently lubricated, leading to itching, redness, and pain. There are various reasons a person can develop dry eye.
What causes dry eye?
Dry eye can develop when the tear ducts are not producing a sufficient number of tears. Or the cause can be a chemical imbalance in the tears themselves. Natural tears require a particular chemical balance to lubricate the eyes efficiently. Sometimes, your eyes are actually overproducing tears due to the irritation in your eyes, but the tears aren’t the right consistency to help.
As we get older, we’re more prone to dry eye. It also results from taking certain medications, certain medical conditions, or injury. Women tend to get dry eye more than men due to the hormonal changes that take place during pregnancy and menopause. Oral contraceptives can also lead to inconsistent tear ingredients.
These are other causes of dry eye:
- Antihistamines, decongestants, and blood pressure medications
- Environmental conditions such as smoke, wind, and excessive sun
- Eye injury
- Long-term contact lens use
- Eye or eyelid surgery
- Conjunctivitis or keratitis
- Rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, Sjogren’s syndrome, thyroid disease
Dry eye typically occurs in both eyes. While the symptoms may seem somewhat benign, they merit your attention. Dry eye can damage eye tissues, leaving tiny abrasions on the surface that can impair your vision.
The symptoms include:
- Stinging, burning, or scratchiness
- Eye fatigue
- Sensitivity to light
- Difficulty wearing contact lenses
- Excessive tearing
- Blurry vision
Treating dry eye
Part of the treatment of dry eye is diagnosing it in the first place. At Central Valley Eye Medical Group, we have extensive experience with dry eye. Treatment can be as simple as using artificial tears until environmental conditions change or as involved as insertion of punctal plugs at the corner of each eye to limit tear drainage. But it does need treatment, so don’t simply assume it’s just a little dust in your eyes.
If you have the symptoms we noted above, please give us a call at Central Valley Eye Medical Group, (800) 244-9907 and let’s check it out.
Posted in: Dry Eyes