Do you feel like your eyes are consistently bloodshot? Do your eyes actually hurt when they are opened or closed? You may be suffering from chronic dry eyes. Dry eyes can be severe or casual, but can never be ignored. Many factors can contribute to this condition, causing sever eye irritation. The key is to learn the factors causing your eye issues and then changing the condition that are able to be changed, which may have nothing to do with simply adding water to your eyes throughout the day.
Causes of Dry Eyes
There are number of causes for chronic dry eyes. However, the causes fall into three main categories: decreased tear production, increased tear evaporation, and imbalanced tear composition. You may be asking what this all means and how that relates to the common person dealing with this condition. So we will break it down, step by step.
First, decreased tear production means your body is just not producing the amount of tears needed to keep your eyes moist. This is typically caused by a medical condition, such as aging, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma, Sjogren’s syndrome, thyroid issues, and Vitamin A Deficiency. However, you may find that some medications may also cause this type of dry eye condition, such as antihistamines, decongestants, hormone replacement therapy, and even antidepressants and birth control. Even damage to the tear gland through radiation or inflammation may cause this type or eye duct reaction. In contrast, increased tear evaporation may be more of an environmental issue that can be caused by wind, smoke, dry air, blinking less often, or even turning out the eye lids and in turning eyelids. Those who deal with imbalanced tear composition typically have too much of wither oil, water, or mucus int heir tear ducts, which is often cause by things like rosacea or skin disorders. No matter the cause, chronic dry eyes can be treated.
Treating Your Dry Eyes
While many cases can be treated with over the counter tear drops, some cases of chronic dry eyes are much too severe to treat with simply artificial tears. In these cases, sufferers need to consider medical options. One of these types of options is treating the actual cause. For instance, if your condition is caused by a Vitamin A Deficiency, talk to your doctor about increasing your Vitamin A intake though supplementation and other avenues. If you have the condition because your eye lid turn inward or outward, you may be able to have corrective surgery to fix your eyelid, thereby fixing the problem of dry eyes.
Other options include prescription medications used to reduce eyelid inflammation or even cornea inflammation. You may also considered procedures such as closing your tear ducts or unblocking oil glands, or even light therapy combined with eyelid massage. All of these treatments are based on your needs and your level of discomfort related to your condition.
If you are experiencing chronic dry eye, you should contact your eye care provider to determine a plan to correct the problem and enjoy your eyes once again. The experts at Rittenhouse Eye Associates are happy to help by examining your eyes and starting a conversation regarding your options.