Dry Eye Is Common -- You're Not Alone if You Have It
Dry eye is the name of a condition in which your eyes become abnormally dry because you aren't producing enough tears to keep your eyes lubricated. The condition itself has a range of symptoms and causes that can make treatment hit or miss in some cases, but the good news is that dry eye is, for the most part, treatable in one way or another. If you have eye discomfort and live in the Lancaster, St. Johnsbury, or Montpelier areas, Shippee Family Eye Care, P.C., can help you make your eyes feel a lot better.
What Is Dry Eye?
Normally, you produce tears that not only run down your face when you cry, but that also lubricate your eyeballs against your eyelids. The lubrication protects the eye from friction with the eyelid and carries off dirt that can get into your eyes. If you don't produce enough tears, or if the tears drain away too quickly, you end up with dry eyes that itch, burn, and feel gritty.
Why Did I Get Dry Eye?
Dry eye results from a number of conditions:
- The tears you produce may be out of balance in terms of their composition, so they don't lubricate well
- Your tears may be too little in amount to have any lubricating effect
- Your tear-producing glands could be blocked
- The tears you produce may be evaporating too quickly due to overly arid conditions
- Your tears could be affected by adverse conditions such as wildfire smoke and allergens
- You could be taking medications or have a medical condition that temporarily changes your tear production
You can also get dry eyes by staring at a computer screen for too long, which is why you're always advised to blink often and look away and up from the screen regularly.
Can I Cure It?
In many cases, you can get rid of dry eye, or at least treat it to the point where it's not a bother. For example, dry eyes due to dry desert air can be soothed either through using eye drops or through using a humidifier (or both). Wildfire smoke can send ash particles over long distances, and if you've been exposed to those, you could have temporary dry eye that will go away when the air clears.
Other times it's not as simple, but you can still treat the condition to an extent. If drainage is the problem, you can have your tear ducts blocked with small plugs. Medicated inserts that dissolve can be placed under the lower eyelid once daily, too.
See an Optometrist about Dry Eye
Make an optometry appointment with Shippee Family Eye Care, P.C., in Lancaster (603-788-3561), St. Johnsbury (802-748-3536), or Montpelier (802-223-7723). Soothe your eyes as fast as you can.