Dry eye occurs when the eyes aren't sufficiently moisturized. This can lead to itching, redness and pain from dry spots on the surface of the eye. Dryness and irritation of the eye takes place when the tear ducts are not producing enough tears, or the tears themselves have a chemical imbalance.
Through an exam, we will try to determine the cause of dry eyes. Most often it is a consequence of aging. Other causes of dry eye include:
- Medications such as antihistamines, oral contraceptives and antidepressants
Dry climate and wind exposure
- Chemical or thermal eye burns
- Abnormal eyelid blinking
- Autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or Sjögren's syndrome
Treatment methods for dry eyes include:
- Use of artificial tears or moisturizing ointment
- Increasing humidity at home or work
- More frequent blinking
- Administering medicated cyclosporine immunomodulator drops
- Small tear duct (punctal) plugs inserted in the corners of the eyes to limit tear drainage
- The drainage tubes in the eyes may be surgically closed
- Eyelid surgery is sometimes a solution if an eyelid condition is causing the dry eye
Talk to your Niswander Eye Center doctor during your next eye exam about the best dry eye treatment method for you. Although dry eyes may not entirely go away, we’re dedicated to improving the way dry eyes feel and function.