What is dry eye syndrome?
Dry eye syndrome is a condition that results if the eyes do not produce enough tears to keep them properly lubricated. As a result of not having enough moisture, the eyes can feel dry, scratchy, and irritated. Other symptoms can include a stinging or burning sensation or the sense that something is stuck in the eye.
Millions of people are affected by dry eye syndrome. Sometimes symptoms may disappear quickly, but in other cases symptoms may persist for longer periods of time. People with long-lasting symptoms should contact an eye doctor right away in order to have the condition diagnosed and the proper treatment administered.
Contact our practice for more information on the treatment of dry eye syndrome in the Los Angeles, Orange County and the Inland Empire region.
What causes dry eyes?
Dry eye syndrome can be caused by a number of factors. Contact lens wearers are more prone to develop dry eyes. People who live in dry, windy, or dusty climates where there is less moisture in the air are often at a great risk of developing the condition than those who live in humid locations. Other environmental stressors including cigarette smoke and air pollution can irritate the eyes and cause a decrease in tear production.
Another factor that influences tear production is age. Older people are often more susceptible to dry eye syndrome because the aging process can decrease the effectiveness of the nerve stimulation process by which tears are produced. Dry eye syndrome may also be triggered in older women during menopause due to hormonal changes and fluctuations. Lastly, medications such as birth control pills and antihistamines can cause dry eye symptoms to occur.
Do eye drops help?
Yes, eye drops are often the only treatment that is necessary to alleviate the symptoms associated with dry eye syndrome. However, there are many different types of eye drops and it is important to choose a formula that contains artificial tears rather than one that just eliminates redness. Doctors at each Laser Eye Center location can determine the cause of your symptoms and select the eye drops that they believe will most effectively meet your needs.
What other treatments are available?
If eye drops alone are not enough to eliminate dry eye symptoms, then medications may be prescribed to treat the condition by increasing the production of tears. In some cases, a procedure known as punctal occlusion is performed to close one of the outlets through which tears drain away to help keep the eyes moist and lubricated.
For more information on this condition, contact our practice today for a free consultation. The doctors at each Laser Eye Center throughout Los Angeles, Orange County, and Southern California can help eliminate dry eye symptoms so that you can see clearly and comfortably once again.