CAUSES OF DRY EYE SYNDROME
“Dry eye” might seem like an inconsequential condition that can be easily treated with the use of eye drops. However, for the thousands of people who suffer from chronic dry eye syndrome, it is a persistent, irritating condition at best and a symptom of an overarching systemic disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, ocular rosacea or Sjögren’s Syndrome, at worst. The team at King LASIK explores the possible causes of dry eye syndrome and what you can do to treat it.
Possible Causes of Dry Eye
In an individual with dry eye syndrome, the eye’s moisture-producing glands do not function properly. Either the lacrimal glands are not producing enough tears to begin with, or the meibomian glands are reducing oil output, which causes tears to evaporate. The latter condition is known as “evaporative” dry eye and has been shown to be the leading cause of or a primary contributing factor to most dry eye cases.
Other possible causes of dry eye include the natural aging process (especially for women going through menopause); certain medications such as antihistamines; a dusty, dry or windy climate; an air conditioning or heating system; insufficient blinking (in particular when working long hours in front of an electronic monitor, such as a computer screen); a health condition, such as the ones listed above; long-term contact lens wear; or an incomplete closing of the eyelids.
Certain individuals are at an increased risk of experiencing dry eye. These individuals include women (possibly due to fluctuations in hormones), older men and smokers.
Dry Eye Treatment Options
Depending on the cause of your dry eye, your eye doctor may prescribe lubricating eye drops, also called artificial tears, to help relieve the dry, itching sensation.
If blocked meibomian glands are causing your dry eye, a suitable treatment option might be LipiFlow treatment, an in-office procedures designed to unblock the meibomian glands to restore normal eye function.
There are several other potential treatment options, including making sure you are well hydrated, wearing sunglasses in dusty and windy climates or taking nutritional supplements including omega-3 fatty acids to help relieve dry eye.
If you think you might have dry eye syndrome, your best bet is to schedule an appointment with an ophthalmologist at King LASIK, so he or she can assess the health of your eyes and recommend an appropriate treatment option.
To schedule an appointment with an experienced ophthalmologist, contact King LASIK by calling (877) 551-2020.