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Dealing with Dry Eye Syndrome
Anyone can have dry, irritated eyes on occasion, especially when subjected to extreme changes in humidity or environmental irritants. But if you have chronic dryness, redness and other unpleasant symptoms, you may be looking at a case of dry eye syndrome. This problem can have many possible causes, making it difficult to determine the cause of your distress without the aid of a skilled eye specialist. Here at Texas Eye Surgeons in Plano, TX, our experienced team can diagnose the underlying issues and prescribe the appropriate treatments to help you enjoy healthier, more comfortable eyes once again.
Causes of Dry Eye
The human eye is normally bathed in a blend of water, mucus and oils, which combine to form what we call the tear film. The glands that produce these substances are activated every time you blink, meaning that your blink rate can determine how well lubricated and hydrated your eyes are at any given time. This is bad news for heavy computer users, because people blink much less frequently when they're gazing at computer monitors for long periods of time, and this can lead to dry, irritated eyes. Dry eye syndrome can also be caused by:
- Medications that that dehydrate the body
- Sjogren's syndrome, an autoimmune disease characterized by dry eyes and mouth
- Tear duct blockages which either reduce tear quantity or change the tear film balance
- Windy conditions (including constant exposure to fans or air conditioners
- Age-related slowdowns in tear production
Dry eye syndrome can do more than make you uncomfortable. Chronic dryness can leave the eye surface exposed to infectious agents, raising your risk of viral or bacterial eye diseases. It can even lead to vision problems from corneal scratches and ulcerations.
Our Plano Vision Care Team Can Help
Bring your dry eyes to our Plano Vision team at Texas Eye Surgeons. We can examine your tear production and tear film consistency to see whether you might have a physical issue such as an underperforming tear gland. Your medical history, work habits and list of current medications will provide valuable clues as to other possible causes. Once we've pinpointed the source of your trouble, we can administer treatments and self-care recommendations to resolve it. These may include:
- Artificial tears or specially-formulated eye drops, administered regularly to counter dryness
- Changes in your medication regimen (if your doctor can prescribe effective alternatives)
- Frequent breaks from your computer work so you can blink and refresh the eyes
- Doing without the air conditioner or ceiling fan whenever possible
- The installation of tiny plugs to prevent too much tear fluid from draining out of the eye
Don't let your dry eye syndrome go untreated until you develop a serious complication or your quality of life is compromised. Call 972-379-3937 today to learn more about dry eye syndrome and schedule a consultation with our Plano eye care team. We can help your eyes feel better!