What is dry eye?
Dry eyes are a result of a chronic lack of adequate lubrication and moisture on the surface of your eye or eyes. Various things may cause dry eye syndrome, including a lack of balance in your tear-flow system; natural aging; side effects of drugs such as antihistamines; diseases such as Sjogren’s syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis; or exposure to things such air conditioners and heaters which may dry out your tear film.
Various symptoms of dry eyes include:
- Itchy eyes
- Sore eyes
- Dryness sensation
- Red eyes
- Light sensitivity
- Blurry vision
- Aching and burning sensation
1. Adding tears to your eyes
Your eye doctor may advise using artificial tears to lubricate your eyes. You will be given eye drops which resemble your natural tears to use on your eyes as often as needed. There are many brands of artificial tears available, but your doctor will advise you on the best option to meet your unique needs.
2. Conserving your tears
With this treatment, your eye doctor will suggest that you block your tear ducts to make your natural tears stay in your eyes longer. Tiny silicone or gel plugs may be used to block the ducts or surgery may be done to block the ducts permanently.
3. Increasing tear production in your eyes
Your doctor may suggest the use of a particular eye drop medication that helps increase the production of tears in your eyes.
4. Using nutritional supplements
Supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids have been known to reduce the symptoms of dry eyes, and your eye doctor may suggest that you incorporate them into your diet as part of a holistic dry eye treatment plan.