the importance of optometry exams

What Can Cause Dry Eyes And How Your Ophthalmologist Might Treat The Condition

It's fairly common to experience the feeling of dry eyes occasionally, especially if you've been outside in windy or dusty conditions. However, if your eyes are often dry, burn, or feel like they have grit in them, you might have a chronic condition that needs treatment from an eye doctor. Here are some things that can cause dry eyes and some treatments your ophthalmologist might suggest.

Possible Causes Of Your Chronic Dry Eyes

When you have dry eyes, there's a problem with your tears. They may evaporate too quickly, such as happens when you're in strong wind, or your body might not make enough tears or make tears of the right quality. Dry eyes can happen as a result of aging, as a side effect of medications, problems with your tear ducts, blockage of the oil glands in your eyes, and as a complication of a medical condition such as a stroke that reduces your ability to blink. When your eyes are dry most of the time, it can cause eye irritation and increase your risk of an eye infection. Plus, your eyes may bother you a lot and make it difficult to work, watch TV, or read.

Treatments That Can Help Dry Eyes

Your eye doctor will uncover the reason for your condition. This is important because correcting the cause of your dry eyes might eliminate the problem. For instance, by managing a medical condition better that causes dry eyes, your eyes may have fewer symptoms. Changes to your lifestyle might help too. Your eye doctor may recommend you stop smoking to end smoke irritation to your eyes. You may also need to wear glasses that wrap around the sides of your eyes to keep wind from evaporating your tears too quickly. You might also run a humidifier in your house so the air isn't so dry and use artificial tears you can buy at a pharmacy.

If your dry eyes are caused by blocked oil glands, your doctor might recommend you hold warm washcloths over your eyes to encourage the blockage to open. Your doctor might also suggest contact lenses made for people with dry eyes. There are different medications to try for this eye condition. Some eye drops stimulate the production of tears while others reduce inflammation in your eyes. If these treatments don't help, your ophthalmologist may try blocking your tear ducts to slow down the drainage of your tears.

Dry eyes can be a bothersome medical condition, and your eye doctor might try different approaches to bring you relief. If you use over-the-counter eye drops, be sure to choose those made for dry eyes and not the type for reducing redness. Your eye doctor may recommend a certain brand or type of drops and also instruct you on caring for your eyes at home to reduce your risk of inflammation and infection due to having dry eyes.

For more help, contact a clinic like Idaho Eye and Laser center.