If you find yourself constantly blinking, rubbing your eyes, or having to even use eye drops several times throughout the day, you might be suffering from dry eye. For many, dry eye is a situational problem that occurs during allergy season, while others will suffer from chronic dry eye that can greatly impact their quality of life. Here are the answers to a few frequently asked questions you might have about dry eye.
What Are the Symptoms Associated with Dry Eye?
In addition to a burning or stinging sensation, there are other common symptoms associated with dry eye, including:
- Sensitivity to light
- Trouble wearing contact or driving at night
- A constant feeling like there is something in your eye
People who suffer from dry eye might also experience chronic watery eyes and eye discharge, which can create a mucus-like film around the eye.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Dry Eye?
Dry eye is a common condition that has several potential causes. One of the most common reasons why a person will begin suffering from dry eye is age. For women, this age-related dry eye can occur because of natural hormonal changes. If you stare at a computer screen or your phone for too many hours throughout the day, you might also begin to experience dry eye.
Certain medications or undergoing Lasik corrective surgery can also lead a patient to suffer from dry eye. Finally, you might experience dry eye at certain times during the year, such as allergy season or if you live in a dry or windy environment.
What Are the Available Treatments for Dry Eye?
In addition to performing a thorough exam of your eyes, your doctor will run several other tests to diagnose dry eye, including a test to measure the volume of tears you are producing and the composition of your tears. These tests will help determine the cause of your dry eyes, which is critical to creating a treatment plan.
For many, lifestyle changes are the best way to help prevent dry eye. This could include taking breaks from looking at computer screens or changing their contact lens routine. The use of eye drops is another common treatment. Eye drops can be used to provide additional moisture to the eyes or to help increase tear production.
In some cases, your eye doctor may need to treat an infection or condition of the eye that is contributing to dry eye. Typically, these treatments also involve the use of eye drops.
Dry eye is a common condition that in most cases can be easily diagnosed and treated. Contact your optometrist with any additional questions about dry eye.