Dry Eye Treatment From iCare4Vision in Wheaton, IL
Dry eye is a condition where a person doesn’t produce enough tears in order to lubricate and nourish the eye, or when the quality of a person’s tears is poor. People with dry eyes may experience irritated or burning eyes, feeling something in their eyes, and blurred vision. Dry eye syndrome can be really irritating and affect the ease of your daily life. Your optometrist at iCare4Vision in Wheaton, IL, is here to help you treat your dry eye syndrome!
Causes of Dry Eyes
There are many reasons that may cause dry eyes, including:
- Age- The majority of people over 65 may experience some symptoms of dry eyes
- Gender- Women are more likely to develop dry eyes because of hormonal changes
- Medications- Certain medications can reduce tear production
- Environmental Conditions- exposure to windy or dry climates can increase tear evaporation
- Prolonged Computer Use- Failure to blink regularly, which may happen when staring at a computer screen for long periods of time, can be a factor in dry eyes
- Contacts- Long-term use of contact lenses can be a factor in dry eyes
Diagnosing Dry Eyes
Dry eyes can be diagnosed through a comprehensive eye exam, also known as the Schirmer’s Test. Your doctor will ask you to remove either your contact lenses or glasses, and most likely will place numbing drops into your eyes. These drops are to prevent your eyes from watering during the test. Your doctor may gently pull your bottom eyelid to place a special strip of paper underneath the lid. You will keep your eyes shut for about five minutes, after which your doctor will measure the amount of moisture on each strip.
There is an alternative test to the Schirmer’s Test, known as a red thread test. In the red thread test, your doctor will replace the strip of paper with a red thread. Depending on the results of either test, your doctor will be able to diagnose whether you have dry eye syndrome or dry eyes as a result of something else.
Treating Dry Eyes
Dry eyes can either be a symptom of something else in your life, or a chronic condition. Either way, your doctor can help treat dry eyes in order to help keep your eyes healthy and comfortable. Dry eye treatment can include:
- Adding Tears- Mild cases can be treated by using over-the-counter artificial tear solutions
- Conserving Tears- The tear ducts may need to be blocked with tiny silicone or gel-like plugs that can be removed if needed. In severe cases, surgery may be needed
- Increase Tear Production- Your doctor may prescribe eye drops that increase tear production
There are also some steps you can take at home to reduce dry eye symptoms, such as:
- Blinking regularly
- Increase the humidity in the air at work or at home
- Wear sunglasses outdoors to reduce drying
- Nutritional supplements containing fatty acids
- Drink plenty of water
It’s important to see your doctor in Wheaton, IL, as soon as possible to treat your dry eyes. Call us at (630) 665-6560 to schedule an appointment or ask any questions today!