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Causes of Dry Eyes and How It's Treated

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Do your eyes always feel dry, even itchy at times? Do you wonder if you suffer from dry eye syndrome? Keeping your eyes lubricated is vital for your vision health. When our eyes don't make enough tears, there is not enough moisture to lubricate them, causing symptoms of dryness, irritation, and more. Tear production can be inadequate or unstable at times for various reasons. Fortunately, the professionals at Palm Beach Eye Center in Delray Beach and Lake Worth, FL can help. Read on to learn more about dry eye syndrome, treatment options, or contact our clinic in Palm Beach County to schedule an appointment with one of our eye doctors today.

Why do my eyes feel dry?

Dry eye syndrome is a common condition that occurs when the tear ducts don't provide adequate lubrication for your eyes. The tear film in front of the eye comprises three layers: mucus, aqueous fluid, and fatty oils. This essential trio keeps the surface of the eyes lubricated, smooth, and clear. Any issues with one or all layers can cause dry eyes. A variety of reasons can disrupt a healthy tear film. You may suffer from dry eye syndrome from taking a prescription medication, certain lifestyle factors, or as the by-product of a medical condition. Some other common causes of dry eye syndrome are:

  • Age
  • The onset of glaucoma, cataracts, or macular degeneration
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Vitamin A deficiency
  • Allergies
  • Mild dehydration
  • Computer use
  • Smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke

How are dry eyes treated?

Insufficient tear production can cause redness, irritation, or a gritty sensation in your eyes. It can be a temporary or chronic condition. One of the first steps to relieving dry eye syndrome is figuring out the underlying cause of it. During a comprehensive eye exam, one of our experienced ophthalmologists will discuss your medical history, listen to your concerns, and review the structures of your eye to determine a treatment plan. The most common treatment for dry eye syndrome is over-the-counter or prescription eye drops, also known as artificial tears. However, more severe cases may need a punctal occlusion or LipiFlow® procedure. Special plugs will be placed in the tear ducts to preserve the real tears or unclog obstructed oil glands at the edge of the eyelids.

What are the signs of dry eye syndrome?

Dry eye syndrome occurs because of the lubrication or underproduction within tears, which causes temporary or chronic dry, itchy eyes and requires treatment. When your tears evaporate too quickly, or your tear glands don't produce enough lubrication within the eye structure, it can affect a person's vision health. Untreated chronic dry eye can cause various complications, ranging from eye infections, cloudy or double vision. Other signs and symptoms of dry eye syndrome are:

  • Sensitivity to light
  • Eye fatigue
  • Watery eyes, or the body's response to irritation from dryness
  • Dryness, redness, or inflammation
  • Eye discomfort or feeling like something is in your eye
  • Stinging or itching sensation
  • Blurry vision

Do you need vision care to combat dry eyes?

If you're experiencing signs or symptoms of dry eye syndrome, it's imperative to schedule an eye exam. Our experienced ophthalmologists specialize in diagnosing and treating reasons for dry eye syndrome. Take care of your vision health by contacting Palm Beach Eye Center in Delray Beach or Lake Worth, FL.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.