Have you been dealing with dry, itchy eyes lately? You might think allergies or a change in weather is to blame, but there could be another possible explanation: dry eye syndrome. Dry eye symptoms are typically mild, but more severe cases can be painful and lead to complications. In this blog, we’ll talk about dry eye syndrome, its symptoms, common causes, and ways to find relief.
What is dry eye syndrome?
Dry eye syndrome happens when your eyes don’t produce enough tears or produce tears of poor quality, leading to redness, irritation, and a gritty feeling in your eye. Other common symptoms of dry eye syndrome include blurred vision, sensitivity to light, and trouble wearing contact lenses. If you find yourself constantly blinking or rubbing your eyes to relieve dryness, you may be suffering from dry eye.
What causes dry eye syndrome?
Many different factors can contribute to dry eye. The most common causes are age, certain medications, environmental factors like wind and dry climates, and eye surgery. Both men and women can get dry eye, but it’s more common in women due to hormonal changes during pregnancy, menopause, and from taking birth control.
Some medical conditions, such as diabetes and autoimmune diseases, can also raise your risk of developing dry eye. Additionally, staring at screens for too long can impact your eyes and lead to dry eye symptoms. Our eye doctors can help identify the underlying cause of your symptoms and recommend the most suitable treatment.
How can you relieve dry eye symptoms?
Treatment for dry eye often depends on the underlying cause and severity of the condition. Most people with temporary or mild dry eye can relieve symptoms by using over-the-counter eye drops, also called artificial tears. Lifestyle changes like using a humidifier in dry areas, taking frequent breaks from screens, wearing sunglasses, and staying hydrated can also help. You can also practice blinking regularly to help spread tears across the surface of your eye.
In more severe cases, your eye doctor may recommend prescription eye drops, anti-inflammatory medications, or other treatments such as intense pulse light (IPL) therapy. Dermatologists have been using IPL therapy for decades to treat rosacea, but it is also an effective treatment for dry eye syndrome. IPL therapy uses gentle pulses of light to reduce inflammation and addresses a common cause of chronic dry eye, meibomian gland dysfunction.
Our dedicated team at Ascension Optical in Gonzales offers a wide range of treatments for dry eye, including IPL therapy. We can help you find the best solution to relieve your symptoms and improve your quality of life. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment.