Dry eye syndrome is a condition that occurs when the eyes can't produce enough tears or lubrication. Not only does it cause a burning or stinging sensation, but it can also damage the eye surface. Regular eye exams help identify the problem early on and manage the condition effectively. That's why our team at Shippee Family Eye Care in Lancaster, St. Johnsbury, Montpelier, and Littleton is here to help.
Common Causes of Dry Eye
The tear film consists of three layers: mucus, fatty oils, and aqueous fluid. This combination keeps the eyes lubricated, clear, and smooth, and if any of the layers has problems, one may develop dry eyes. For most people, dry eyes are caused by increased tear evaporation or reduced tear production. Common causes of dry eyes include:
Dry eye syndrome often affects people 50 and above because tear production declines as one grows old. This type of dry eye can't be prevented, but our optometry experts can recommend using artificial tears to increase lubrication.
They can also lead to chronic dry eyes, causing them to appear red, watery, and itchy. While drugs like antihistamines reduce allergies, they can exacerbate the problem. It's best to visit our eye doctors to have your eyes checked and get the proper remedy for the problem.
Medications like antidepressants, decongestants, hormone replacement therapy, and drugs for acne and high blood pressure can cause dry eyes to occur. They reduce mucus production, which plays a critical role in spreading the tears. If you're taking one of these drugs and are experiencing dry eyes, talk to our eye doctors for possible treatment options.
Some people develop dry eyes after laser vision correction surgery. This is because the procedure penetrates some nerves in the cornea, reducing tear production. Luckily, this type of eye dryness is temporary and resolves after a few days.
Conditions such as Sjogren's Syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, thyroid disorders, and Vitamin A deficiency can cause eye dryness. Sjogren's Syndrome, for example, causes the white blood cells to attack the tear glands, reducing tear production. Prescription lubricating eye drops can treat the problem, and we may recommend surgery in severe cases.
Contact Us for Eye Care at Shippee Family Eye Care
If you are experiencing dry eyes due to these various causes, visit one of our clinics for quality care. Our Lancaster, NH, St. Johnsbury, VT, Montpelier, VT, and Littleton, NH offices are fully equipped to help you manage your dry eyes. Contact us at Shippee Family Eye Care today to schedule your next eye exam or to learn more about how we can help your eye and vision care.