Dry Eyes

What are Dry Eyes?

Dry eyes are a common condition that occurs when the eyes don't produce enough tears or when the tears evaporate too quickly. Symptoms of dry eyes may include burning, itching, dryness, and a feeling of grittiness. Dry eyes can cause discomfort and vision problems if left untreated.

Causes of Dry Eyes

Dry eyes can be caused by many different factors, including:

  • Exposure to dry air, wind or smoke
  • Aging
  • Side effects of certain medications
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Computer use or watching television for long periods
  • Environmental allergies
  • Medical conditions such as Sjogren's Syndrome, Diabetes, and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Treatment for Dry Eyes

There are several different types of treatments available for dry eyes, such as:

  • Artificial tears/eye drops: These are available over-the-counter and help replace lost moisture in the eyes and provide relief from symptoms.
  • Prescription medications: These eye drops can be used to reduce inflammation in the eyes and help to improve tear production.
  • Eye plugs/collars: These are small plastic devices that help to block tear drainage from the eye, thus helping to reduce evaporation.
  • Surgery: Surgery may be recommended in some cases to improve tear production or tear drainage.
  • Lifestyle changes: Wearing sunglasses outdoors, using a humidifier at home, and reducing time spent on the computer, television, or handheld devices can all help to reduce dry eye symptoms.

Prevention of Dry Eyes

To help prevent dry eyes, take the following steps:

  • Avoid air conditioning and heating systems in the home or car for long periods.
  • Use a humidifier if you have to use air conditioning or heating.
  • Wear sunglasses outdoors.
  • Take regular breaks from the computer or television.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Manage any underlying medical conditions, such as allergies, diabetes, Sjogren's Syndrome, or Rheumatoid Arthritis.