Did you know that dry eye is one of the most common eye problems in America? Dry eye is the term for a condition that happens when your eyes don’t produce enough tears. As many as 4.88 million Americans may be afflicted. A Los Angeles, CA optometrist discusses dry eye below.
One of the most common warning signs is a stinging, burning feeling. Your eyes may feel scratchy, and they may look a bit red. You may find it uncomfortable to wear contacts, and your eyes may become very sensitive to light. Believe it or not, watery eyes can actually be a sign of dry eyes. This is the body trying to fix the problem itself. You may also notice blurry vision or eye fatigue, or have trouble driving at night. Any of these red flags should warrant a call to your eye doctor.
Dry eyes can be caused by a variety of things. Age is sometimes a factor. Your eyes will make fewer tears as you age. This is just one of the many changes that happen to your body over time. Both men and women can get dry eyes. However, it’s more common in women—especially those who have gone through menopause.
Environment can also play a role: being surrounded by smoke, fumes, dust, or even high winds can contribute to dryness. In some cases, having eye surgery, such as LASIK, results in dry eyes. Other potential causes include spending too much time looking at computer screens and/or keeping contacts in for extended periods of time. Thyroid conditions can sometimes be the culprit, as can vitamin deficiencies and certain diseases, such as Lupus. Medications can also play a role. Ask your eye doctor for more information.
There are a number of ways to correct dry eyes. If you think you may have dry eyes, call your eye doctor. They will likely run some tests, and check the volume and quality of your tears. Once a diagnosis has been made, you’ll be able to discuss treatment options. These may include special eye drops or medications. Sometimes surgical procedures, such as blocking a tear duct, may be needed. For others, new contacts may do the trick.
Do you suspect that you have dry eyes? As your Los Angeles, CA optometry clinic, we’re dedicated to offering five-star vision care. Call us today!