Dry eye is a source of irritation that can make your eyes feel constantly dry and gritty. If you have symptoms of dry eye, the team of eye health specialists at Southern Shores Eye Center, P.A., in Manahawkin and Forked River, New Jersey, has considerable experience diagnosing the condition and using a range of effective treatments to restore lubrication in your eyes. Find out more by calling Southern Shores Eye Center, P.A. today, or book an appointment online.
Dry eye is, as the name suggests, a condition in which the tears you’re producing aren’t keeping your eyes clean and lubricated.
The tears you produce to keep your eyes moist aren’t the same as the tears you make when you cry. Moisturizing tears contain oils and mucus as well as water. The oils prevent your tears from drying out, and the mucous helps spread tears across your eyes when you blink.
If your tears don’t contain enough oils and mucus, they won’t provide the lubrication your eyes need, making them feel dry and uncomfortable.
Dry eye causes symptoms such as:
Dry eye can also cause your eyes to water a lot, which may seem strange. The reason is that your body produces tears to try and lubricate your eyes, but the tears don’t contain the oils and mucus needed for proper moisturization. Therefore, although you might constantly be wiping away tears, they’re not helping to combat the dry eye.
Dry eye is more common as you age. Taking medications such as decongestants to relieve a blocked nose, antihistamines for allergies or diuretics (water tablets) can also increase your risk of developing dry eye.
If you have certain medical conditions, dry eye can be a complication of your disease. Conditions that cause dry eye include:
Dry eye can also develop because of problems in your tear ducts, and it’s not unusual to experience temporary dry eye following laser eye surgery.
The team at Southern Shores Eye Center, P.A. uses advanced tear osmolarity testing to assess how severe your dry eye is so they can recommend the best treatment for you. They also carry out sophisticated allergy testing to ensure your problem is due to dry eye and not an allergy.
If you only have mild dry eye, you might just need to use over-the-counter eye drops to moisten your eyes now and then.
For more serious cases of dry eye, your provider might prescribe medicated eye drops such as cyclosporine ophthalmic (Restasis®) or lifitegrast (Xiidra®).
If you have severe dry eye, you might need to undergo a procedure to block your tear ducts. Your provider fits miniature gel or silicone plugs into the puncta, the tiny hole in each tear duct, to slow down the drainage of your tears.
For fast and effective solutions to the discomfort of dry eye, call Southern Shores Eye Center, P.A. today, or book an appointment online.