Dry Eye: A Treatable Problem

Among the spectrum of eye problems, having dry eye may not seem like a big issue. However, if you experience this condition, you know that it is uncomfortable at best and at its worst is a dangerous vision problem. In addition, it can be a symptom of a serious disease. If you have dry eye, you can't afford to ignore it.


The symptoms of dry eye include redness, blurring, pain, and light sensitivity. You may also feel itching and experience the feeling of grit. Surprisingly, you may occasionally end up with a torrent of tears flowing down your face because your body responds to extreme dryness by releasing "emergency tears." Unfortunately, this type of tears does not really lubricate your eyes, so the relief they provide is superficial and short-lived. Dry eye can lead to surface inflammation that can, in extreme circumstances, cause vision loss.  


Some medications can cause dry eye, so if you experience this problem after starting a medication, you need to consult with your doctor. A variety of prescriptions can cause this problem, including blood pressure medication, birth control pills, antidepressants, and tranquilizers. Dry eye can also occur after laser eye surgery, allergies, computer use, contact use, and chemical fumes. In some instances, dry eye is the result of disease, including rheumatoid arthritis and a form of lupus. If you experience dry eye, you need to discover the cause and not ignore it.


Treatment for dry eye ranges from OTC drops to medical intervention. You can use artificial tears if your doctor approves. Your eye professional may choose to prescribe eye drops, some of which help you to produce more tears. Steroid eye drops are another possible treatment. They treat the inflammation that can cause dry eye.  Sometimes light treatment is used or even an in-office procedure called meibomian gland expression that opens up blocked glands. In fact, there are a variety of methods that can help control the problem. Your doctor may use a combination of these treatments to help you find long-term relief.

Dry eye may just seem like an inconvenience, but it is a painful problem that can cause more serious complications. It can also be a symptom of a larger issue. Consult with an eyecare professional at a location like Discover  Vision Centers when you have any sort of eye problem, no matter how small it may seem. Many of these conditions can be controlled, if not eliminated.