Dry eyes occur for various reasons, including environmental conditions, exposure to the sun, medications, health conditions, and lifestyle habits. Many people with dry eyes suffer from a lack of producing enough tears within the eyes, which help keep the eyes moist and healthy. However, when eyes become dry, they can become scratchy, itchy, and feel like sand is in them. If left untreated, dry eyes can cause significant problems, including continued irritation. We at Warm Springs Optometric Group in Fremont, CA, are here to help patients with their eye conditions, including, dry eyes, myopia, and more.
The itching, the rubbing, the pain: no matter what you do, your eyes never feel moist enough. At first, this was a mild issue, but now, your dry eyes are making it tough to do anything. You find it hard to concentrate at work or relax when you’re at home.
What Is Dry Eye Syndrome?
Dry eye syndrome occurs when there aren't enough tears to keep eyes moist and help wash away particles from the eyes. A healthy tear film on the eye is necessary for good, quality and healthy vision. When this condition developes, it can be uncomfortable and make it challenging to maintain a healthy coating of tears on the eyes.
People who suffer from this condition may experience significant disruptions during the day and have trouble focusing because they are distracted by the symptoms associated with the condition.
Causes for Dry Eye Treatment from an Optometrist
The most common causes include living in a dry environment, excessive sun exposure, smoking, allergy medications, and prolonged contact lens wear. Dry eyes can also be caused by heat or chemical burns, previous surgery, eye drops to treat other conditions and autoimmune disorders. Some medications can also cause this condition to occur.
Your eye doctor in Fremont can diagnose your case of dry eye. They can also administer dry eye treatment, which should lessen the painful symptoms right away. Here’s an overview of the treatments your eye doctor may suggest:
- Eyelid scrubs for a healthier eye lipid layer, which may add more moisture
- Warm compresses to lessen irritation and pain
- Artificial tears
- Omega-3 supplements
- Oral antibiotics
- Antibiotic eye drops
- Corticosteroid ointments or eye drops, which treat inflammation
- Restasis, also known as Cyclosporine A 0.5%
In serious cases, you may need surgery for your dry eye. The surgeries you may receive are:
- Lateral tarsorrhaphy, where the ocular surface is shrunk for better tear film production
- Therapeutic prosthetic scleral devices, which replace damaged sclera
- Punctal occlusion, which adds plugs to control tear drainage
- Amniotic membrane therapy, which uses placental tissue for dry eye symptoms
- LipiFlow, which separates glands’ lipids for less eye dryness
- Your eye doctor will determine which of these treatment methods is best-suited for your individual case of dry eye.
There are various causes behind the development of dry eye syndrome, and sometimes patients experience different symptoms requiring a visit to the eye doctor. Common symptoms include blurry vision and a burning, itching, redness, and scratchy feeling in the eye. Some patients also experience sensitivity to light and excessive watering eyes in response to other symptoms.
There are several symptoms and signs to be on the lookout for if you think you may have dry eye. These are:
- Pain when using contacts, which sometimes make you unable to use contacts at all
- Light sensitivity
- Frequent eye tearing
- Blurry vision
- A feeling of grittiness in your eyes, even though there’s nothing in there
- Scratching and burning feelings
- Stinging sensations
- Redness and irritation
- Watery eyes
- More mucous in and around the eyes than usual
Understanding Dry Eye Causes
Suffering from itchy, irritated, or burning eyes? You might be experiencing the symptoms of dry eye – an increasingly common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Dry eye can be triggered by a range of factors, from environmental irritants to underlying health problems. To help you understand more about this frustrating condition, we’ve put together a guide to the common dry eye causes.
At Warm Springs Optometric Group, our experienced optometrists offer specialized dry eye treatment. We’re passionate about educating our patients on the best strategies for managing their eye health. If you have dry eye, consider visiting our eye clinic in Fremont, CA.
Dry eye can be exacerbated by a range of environmental factors, including pollution, air conditioning, and dry climates. Spending a long time in front of a computer screen or reading can also lead to eye strain and dry eye symptoms. If you have a job that involves a lot of screen time, try taking regular breaks to rest your eyes and blink more frequently. Using a humidifier at home or work can also help soothe dry eye symptoms and maintain a comfortable level of moisture in the air.
As we get older, the natural tear production in our eyes slows down, which can make us more prone to dry eye. Postmenopausal women are particularly at risk, as the decrease in estrogen levels can cause a reduction in tear production. If you’re over 65, it’s important to have regular eye check-ups with a qualified optometrist, who can help detect and treat any signs of dry eye or any other eye disease.
Certain medications can also cause dry eye symptoms as a side effect. Antidepressants, decongestants, and oral contraceptives are all known to affect tear production. You may experience burning or itchy eyes. If you’re experiencing dry eye symptoms while taking any prescription medicines, speak to your doctor or optometrist. There may be alternative treatments or lifestyle changes that can help.
Several underlying medical conditions can also cause dry eye symptoms, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and Sjogren’s Syndrome. These conditions can affect the body’s ability to produce sufficient tears, leading to burning eyes and eye irritation. If you have any underlying medical conditions, it’s important to have regular eye checks with an experienced optometrist, who can help diagnose and treat any related eye problems.
People who wear contact lenses are also more prone to dry eye symptoms, as the lenses can absorb moisture from the eyes. If you’re experiencing dry eye while wearing contacts, switching to daily disposables or using lubricating eye drops can help. It’s also important to ensure you’re properly cleaning and storing your lenses to avoid any potential infections or irritations.
Contact Us for Comprehensive Dry Eye Treatment
Dry eye is a common but frustrating condition that can have a range of causes, from environmental irritants to underlying health problems. By understanding the triggers that can lead to dry eye, you can take proactive steps to prevent and relieve symptoms.
Our eye doctors at Warm Springs Optometric Group in Fremont are dedicated to providing personalized eye health advice and specialized dry eye treatment to help you maintain optimal eye health. If you’re experiencing any eye irritation, burning eyes, itchy eyes, or have any eye disease, contact our friendly team of experienced optometrists today and find out how we can help you find the right eye care solutions.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dry Eyes
What is Dry Eye Syndrome?
Dry eye syndrome occurs when the surface of your eyes become too dry because something disrupts the protective layer of tears normally covering the eyes. Tears may evaporate too quickly, for instance, or they may not be produced enough. Tear production may also be impaired by an underlying inflammatory condition.
What Are The Signs and Symptoms of Dry Eye?
Dry eye syndrome generally involves a range of uncomfortable symptoms, including:
- Itchy, red, and dry eyes
- Sore and fatigued eyes
- Blurry vision
- Decreased tolerance to bright lights and glare
- Frequent watery discharge (your body's attempt to compensate) which can leave a residue on eyelashes and eyelids
What Causes Dry Eye?
Dry eye syndrome can be caused by a wide range of issue, including:
- Eye allergy (often due to pet dander, pollen, dust, and mold)
- Dry weather
- Wearing contact lenses for too long
- Using a computer for too long
- Exposure to irritants like smoke and airborne chemicals
- Eye infection, injury, or surgery
- Autoimmune disorders like lupus, Sjogren's syndrome, and rheumatoid arthritis
How Is Dry Eye Diagnosed?
An optometrist in Fremont—Dr. Susan M. Pirrone or Dr. Michael F. Fauria—can diagnose your dry eye syndrome by using techniques to examine the external surface of your eyes, assess vision, and collect samples for lab testing. We'll also ask you questions about your personal and family medical history, as well as your lifestyle, to give us additional clues as to what's causing your issues.
Effective treatment is dependent on a proper diagnosis. Most of our patients with dry eye benefit from a combination of techniques such as:
- Lifestyle modifications (e.g., to avoid environmental allergens)
- Cool or warm compresses
- Medicated eye drops to soothe inflammation and restore moisture
- Peri-operative care for tear duct plugging surgery with an eye surgeon
Can I Wear Contacts If I Have Dry Eye?
You may be able to wear hard-to-fit contact lenses like scleral lenses if you have dry eye syndrome. Scleral lenses are wide-diameter, allowing their edges to rest on the white parts of your eye. This creates a large fluid-filled reservoir between the lens and the cornea and may help improve moisture.
Ask us about our contact lens exam if interested!
About Warm Springs Optometric Group, Your Fremont Optometrists
If you’re looking for dry eye relief, you’ve come to the right place. At Warm Springs Optometric Group, your Fremont optometrists, we specialize in dry eye treatment, designer frames, orthokeratology, and eye exams.
Our other services are contact lens exams, LASIK eye surgery, vision therapy, Ortho-K contacts, red eye treatment, computer vision treatment, sports vision treatment, sunglasses fittings, contact lens fittings, and myopia management therapy.
Visit Us for More Information
People suffering from any symptoms of dry eye syndrome or exposed to some of the many possible causes of the condition can schedule an appointment with a Fremont, CA, optometrist for proper diagnosis and treatment options. We at Warm Springs Optometric Group can help treat many eye conditions, including myopia, and provide patients with the eye care needed for treatment. Call our office at (510) 490-0287 to schedule an appointment and learn more about how we can help treat your symptoms. Our team is here to help you protect your eye health.