What Causes Dry Eye?
If you notice a frequent uncomfortable or burning-like sensation in your eyes, you may be one of the 20 million Americans with chronic dry eye. As the name suggests, dry eye occurs when your eyes are unable to sufficiently lubricate themselves. This can be triggered by inadequate tear production or because the tears you produce are of a lower quality. The eye doctors at Cascadia Eye have helped many patients in Northwestern Washington State to overcome chronic dry eye. Here’s what patients should know about this irritating condition:
What Causes Dry Eye?
A long list of factors can contribute to dry eye, such as:
- Rapid tear evaporation
- Strain from looking at a digital screen for prolonged periods
- Hormonal fluctuation (especially during menopause or pregnancy)
- Inflamed eyelids
- Dry or windy weather
- Medication use (including some antihistamines, decongestants, and antidepressants)
- Older age (dry eye is most common among seniors)
- Smoke exposure
- Medical conditions like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis
- Heat or air conditioning
- Insufficient blinking
For many patients, dry eye develops due to a variety of factors rather than a single cause. If environmental factors are to blame, you may be able to make some lifestyle adjustments to conquer dry eye. However, if those do not relieve your ocular discomfort, you are likely a good candidate for treatment.
Dry Eye Treatments
About half of Americans with dry eye do not seek treatment for the condition. It is unnecessary to suffer from this discomfort — nowadays, there are multiple treatment options that can help to hydrate your eyes.
Sometimes the solution is as easy as lubricating eye drops. If you have a more serious case of dry eye, you may need medicated eyedrops to help stimulate new tears and overcome corneal inflammation.
Since blocked meibomian glands are a common contributing factor to dry eye, one of the most effective solutions is iLux. This gentle, non-invasive treatment uses heat and gentle pressure to unclog the meibomian glands so that it can release meibomian oils that improve the quality of your tears. This prevents your tears from evaporating prematurely and keeps your eyes better hydrated throughout the day. You may also benefit from having a miniature drainage system added to your eye to facilitate better tear flow.
Find Relief for Your Eyes
Our knowledgeable team of eye doctors have a variety of tips and treatments to minimize the discomfort you experience due to chronic dry eye. To improve your quality of life, schedule a consultation to find a solution that will work for you. Please call 360-424-2020 today.