Dry Eye

Dry eye is a common condition that occurs when the eyes are insufficiently moisturized, leading to itching, redness and pain from dry spots on the surface of the eye. The eyes may become dry and irritated because the lacrimal glands don’t produce enough tears, or because of an imbalance in the tear chemistry.

MAINTAINING THE BEST EYE CARE HEALTH IS DR. VAN NORMAN’S NUMBER ONE PRIORITY WITH ALL OF HIS PATIENTS.

Dry Eye

Patients with this condition often experience irritating symptoms and which may result in more serious damage to the vision if the condition is left untreated.

It is important for patients with this condition to take special care of their eyes in order to alleviate symptoms and prevent complications. Dr. Van Norman can diagnose dry eye after a thorough evaluation of your eyes and tear production with a Schirmer tear test.

PRIMARY CAUSES OF DRY EYE

People typically begin experiencing dry eye symptoms as they age, but the condition can also result from certain medications, conditions, or eye injuries. Dry eye tends to affect women more often than men, due to the hormonal changes that take place during pregnancy or menopause. Oral contraceptives may also affect the consistency of tears, leading to dry eye. Dry eye is more common in people over the age of 50. Other causes of dry eye may include:

  • Aging
  • An eye injury
  • Long-term contact lens use
  • Medications such as antihistamines, decongestants, blood pressure medications, or antidepressants
  • Medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, or Sjogren’s syndrome
  • Environmental conditions such as smoke, wind, air conditioning and dry climates
  • Eye surgery or eyelid surgery
  • Sun exposure or keratitis exposure
  • Smoking exposure or second-hand exposure to smoke
  • Thyroid eye disease
  • Inflammation of the conjunctiva

These factors can affect the frequency or consistency of tears, both of which can lead to dry eyes. Our natural tears require a certain chemical balance in order to efficiently moisturize the eyes.

COMMON Symptoms of Dry Eye

Treatment for dry eye depends on the cause and severity of the condition, as well as the patient’s overall health and personal preference.

Non-surgical treatments are often effective, and may include the following:

  • Blinking on purpose
  • Increasing humidity levels at home or work
  • Use artificial tears or a moisturizing ointment
  • Stop smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke
  • Avoiding air conditioning or windy conditions outdoors
  • Stop the use of allergy and cold medicines
  • Adding omega-3 fatty acids to the diet as food or supplements
Dry Eye

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