Dry Eye FAQs

Dry Eye FAQs From Our Lawrence Optometrist

Dry eye syndrome is a very common and irritating issue to deal with. Learn more about the causes, symptoms, and treatment options below.

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What is dry eye?

The eye contains tear film that is made up of three different layers: oil, water, and mucus. If any of these layers aren’t functioning as they should, it can lead to dry eye syndrome.

For example, if the water layer does not produce enough water you might experience dry eyes. Likewise, if your eyelids are not producing enough oil, your tears will evaporate too quickly.

Is dry eye a disease?

It is a syndrome that is typically caused by diseases or environmental issues. Therefore, it is not a disease itself, but rather a symptom of another problem.

What causes dry eye syndrome?

There are several reasons you might experience dry eye syndrome. Some of the most common include:

  • Medical conditions, such as lupus, thyroid disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, and Vitamin A deficiency
  • Medications, like antihistamines, antidepressants, blood pressure medications, birth control, and more
  • Aging
  • Constant use of contact lenses
  • Eye allergies
  • Windy, smoky, or dry environment

What are the symptoms of dry eye?

The most common symptoms of dry eye are your eyes feeling dry or gritty. However, there are other symptoms, including:

  • Burning or tired eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Discharge of the eye
  • Blurry vision
  • Red, sore or itchy eyes

Should I worry about my dry eyes?

Dry eyes are more than just an irritation. They can actually lead to long-term problems. It’s important to understand that tears are essential to eye health. They wash out any dirt, debris, and even infection that might be affecting your eyes.

In the short term, this might not be a major issue. However, if you have chronic dry eyes, meaning your eyes are never be washed as they should, you’ll likely experience dangerous infection and damage to the cornea. Both of these can lead to vision loss.

How can an optometrist help relieve dry eye?

First, your eye care specialist will complete a dry eye exam to determine the severity of your condition and the best way to treat it. This might be through lubricants, pulse light treatments, topical steroids, punctal plugs, lifestyle changes, or a combination of eye care treatments.

Schedule an Eye Exam Appointment with Our Lawrence, KS Optometrist

If you experience dry eyes, don’t let it go on any longer. Take control of the condition now before it creates permanent damage. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Curtis R. Anderson by calling (785) 843-8200 today.