Everyone typically experiences dry eyes occasionally from wearing contact lenses or because of the environment. However, there are many people who experience chronic dry eyes caused by underlying conditions that require medical treatment.
Chronic dry eye syndrome can be caused by allergies, skin, eye gland or existing medication complications. There are several treatment options available depending on the cause and severity of your chronic dry eyes. Solutions range from over-the-counter artificial tear eye drops, applying ointments when going to bed, prescription drugs, medicated eye inserts, specialty contact lenses to clearing blocked tear glands.
If chronic dry eyes is interfering with your everyday life, schedule an appointment with us to examine, diagnose and start a treatment plan that works best for you.
Symptoms of Chronic Dry Eye
The bottom line issue with chronic dry eye is the lack of tears or enough moisture to keep your eyes hydrated.
There are a multitude of underlying causes ranging from old age, work or home environment, side effects of medication, blocked or damaged tear ducts and more.
Common chronic dry eye symptoms are:
- enhanced sensitivity to dry or smoky environments;
- sensitivity to light;
- difficulty driving at night;
- difficulty wearing contact lenses;
- chronic redness of the eyes;
- a continual "scratchy" feeling;
- continual burning and stinging in your eyes;
- frequent "sticky" eye excretions;
- a sensation of something foreign under your eyelid;
- blurry or cloudy eyesight;
- fatigued or heavy eyelids.
Treatments for Dry Eye Syndrome
A comprehensive eye exam will determine the extent of your dry eye problem by measuring the volume of your eye's tear production and also determining the quality of your eye's tear generation.
Over-The-Counter Artificial Tears
In many cases, OTC eye drops used several times a day may be the answer.
There are several prescription drug options available to address your particular dry eye issue. They typically address eyelid or corneal inflammation and tear production. In severe cases, tear eye drops derived from the patient's blood may be an option.
Medical Procedure Options
- Artificial tear eye inserts;
- Closing of the tear ducts;
- Unblocking of oil glands;
- Specialty contact lenses.