Everyone experiences dry, itchy eyes at some point. Symptoms can range from a minor annoyance to unbearable irritation. Either way, you’ll want relief. The eye doctors at Wing Eyecare in Cincinnati, OH, say although it’s a highly treatable condition, solutions for a dry eye aren’t one-size-fits-all. Here, they explain some of the symptoms, causes, and treatment options available.
In addition to dryness, symptoms include itching, burning, redness, and irritation or pain. You might feel as though there’s something in your eye you can’t see. Other symptoms may include blurry vision, heavy eyelids, and light sensitivity. Sometimes tear ducts produce more tears to reduce dryness, resulting in watery eyes.
Medications such as antihistamines, hormone replacement therapies, decongestants, antidepressants, and anti-anxiety medications may cause dry-eyes. Some health conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, rosacea, inflammatory eyelid disease, autoimmune disorders, thyroid disorders, and high blood pressure can also cause it.
The environment can also be a factor. Many people experience dry eyes as a result of allergies, particularly seasonal allergies to dust or pollen. Windy, smoky, or dry environments cause tears to evaporate more rapidly, which also causes eyes to dry out.
Behaviors can also factor in. If you work at a computer for much of the day, staring at the screen for too long without blinking may cause eyes to dry out. The same goes for staring at the TV, tablet, or phone screen for prolonged periods. If you wear contacts, wearing them for too long or sleeping with them in often results in dryness. Sleeping in contacts also puts you at risk of other eye issues, so you should always take them out before bed.
There are many over-the-counter and prescription treatment options available. In some cases, your eye doctor may suggest a procedure, such as blocking the tear ducts, unblocking oil glands, or using light therapy and eyelid massage. You should always talk to your ophthalmologist before using over-the-counter eye drops. Some of them are effective, but many do more harm than good. It’s particularly important to consult a doctor if you’re allergic to specific ingredients, such as preservatives, which are found in most over-the-counter brands. Depending on your needs, your doctor may prescribe drops or other medication.
If you’re a Cincinnati resident living with dry eyes or other ophthalmological conditions, see the eye doctors at Wing Eyecare. For over 100 years, they’ve provided exams, treatments, and prescription glasses, all at an affordable price. Call (888) 274-9464 to schedule an appointment, or visit their website to read more about their services.