Dry eye is one of those rare eye conditions that might not be dangerous, but it’s definitely annoying. Dry eye makes it difficult for a person to produce lubricating tears, which are critical for keeping the eyes moisturized and happy. Some sufferers may be able to produce tears that don’t have enough lubricant (oil, water, and mucus) to moisturize the eye. Suffering from dry eye means facing a host of annoying and uncomfortable symptoms, including any or all the following:
- Stinging and burning
- Irritable eyes
- Eye fatigue, which gets worse at the end of the day
- Sensitivity to bright lights, especially at night
- The sensation that something’s in your eyes
- Difficulty wearing contact lenses
- Blurred vision
Dry eye can occur for a number of reasons. For some, it comes down to genetics; you’re just more prone to having dry eye than others. Dry eye can also be caused by the aging process or even changes in hormonal levels due to menopause. Some laser eye surgery patients report experiencing dry eye after the procedure. Smokers often experience dry eye, as the irritants from cigarette smoke can drift up into the eyes and dry them out. Finally, dry eye can be caused by certain medications or from staring at a computer or TV screen all day. In the latter case, it’s recommended that you take five-minute breaks from the screen and blink rapidly.
As the causes of dry eye vary across the board, this means that treatments may differ from patient to patient. Many treatments involve antibiotics, which is especially useful for patients who might have inflammation near the tear duct. Inflammation can prevent the eye from producing oil, which makes up a critical component of the eye’s natural lubrication. Your ophthalmologist may also prescribe prescription eye drops for artificial lubrication, or special contact lenses that trap moisture in your eyes.
If you suffer from dry eyes, schedule an appointment with Dr. Loeffler at the Center for Ophthalmology and Laser Surgery. Serving the greater Fort Lauderdale, FL and surrounding Florida areas, Dr. Loeffler and his staff members are dedicated to protecting your ocular health against the symptoms of dry eyes. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Loeffler today to learn more about dry eyes and your treatment options. We’re located in Lighthouse Pt. and we serve the Pompano Beach, Deerfield Beach, Boca Raton & Ft. Lauderdale areas. Call us at (954) 786-5353.