Dry Eye Causes and Treatment
One of the most common eye disorders diagnosed and treated by your Manchester, Middletown and Toms River optometrists is keratoconjunctivitis or dry eye syndrome. The two primary reasons for dry eyes is an insufficient production of tears or a chemical imbalance that causes tears to evaporate prematurely People over 60 suffer dry eyes more than any other age group, with nearly 3/4 of seniors visiting their doctor of optometry for an eye exam. In addition, about half of all contact lens wearers experience dry eyes due contacts damaging sensitivity of corneal nerves. Optometrists also believe that corneal nerve damage could lead to reduced tear production from lacrimal glands.
Symptoms of Chronic Dry Eyes
Most symptoms of dry eye are self-explanatory, ranging from itching, burning and stinging of the eyes to blurry vision and headaches resulting from fatigued eyes. When you have dry eyes, it may feel like you have grit under your eyelids even though you blink constantly and use eyedrops to hydrate dry eyes. Also, dry eyes can cause your eyes to water because they are irritated. These tears, called “reflex tears”, won’t make your eyes feel less dry because they do not contain lubricating properties essential for preventing dry eyes.
Causes of Dry Eyes
In addition to aging and lacrimal gland dysfunction, dry eyes may be also be caused by underlying diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Sjögren’s syndrome and other autoimmune diseases. Diuretics, antidepressants, antihistamines and antihypertensives may interfere with tear production and produce dry eye symptoms. In rare cases, tumors or internal trauma to lacrimal glands may be responsible for the lack of tears and dry eye irritation. Drooping or bulging eyelids can also contribute to dry eye syndrome, a condition that may be remedied by a minor surgery called blepharoplasty.
How Your Bricktown Optometrist Diagnoses Dry Eye Syndrome
Tests used to diagnose dry eye syndrome include slit lamp exams, visual acuity measurements, evaluating break-up time of tear film and Schirmer’s test (measuring tear production rate). Your eye care doctor will also ask about your symptoms when they started and if you are taking medications that could be causing or contributing to dry eyes.
Treatment for Dry Eyes
Artificial tears prescribed by your Eatontown optometrist can relieve dry eye irritation caused by aging or taking certain medications. Prescription medications such as oral tetracycline, topical corticosteroids or Restasis provide continuous dry eye symptoms that interfere with your quality of life. Minimally invasive surgery involving insertion of tear drainage duct plugs allows moisture to remain longer on the surfaces of your eyes if these ducts are causing dry eyes.
Your first step towards dry eye relief starts with calling EyesFirst Vision Center today to schedule an appointment: (732) 203-5427. We have offices located in Manchester, Middletown, Toms River, Bricktown, Eatontown, Red Bank, Sea Girt, Matawan, Manahawkin and Hazlet NJ.