Have you been suffering from itchy eyes lately? You may think it’s just allergies or the weather, but there could be another culprit: dry eye syndrome. Dry eye syndrome occurs when your eyes don’t make enough tears, or your tears are of poor quality. While it may seem like a minor inconvenience, severe dry eye can cause serious issues like corneal ulcers or vision loss if left untreated. This condition can also affect your quality of life and make it hard to focus, read, or work on a computer for long periods.
In this blog post, we’ll explore what dry eye syndrome is, its symptoms, common causes, and what you can do to treat or prevent it.
Symptoms of dry eye syndrome
Dry eye syndrome can cause uncomfortable symptoms like itching, burning, redness, blurry vision, light sensitivity, and even pain. You may feel like there’s sand in your eyes or have trouble wearing contact lenses. People often mistake dry eye for allergies because the two have similar symptoms. If you have dry, itchy eyes, it’s important to schedule an eye exam with your eye doctor to figure out if dry eye or another condition is causing your symptoms.
Causes of dry eye syndrome
Environmental factors like air conditioning, wind, dry air, and smoke can cause dry eye. Other causes include certain medications, poor blinking habits while reading or staring at screens, and medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes. While anyone can develop dry eye, it is most common in people over 50 and women, especially during pregnancy and menopause.
Treating dry eye syndrome
Treatment for dry eye syndrome will vary based on the severity and cause. Treatment options may include prescription eye drops, artificial tears, warm compresses, and lifestyle changes like using a humidifier at home and taking frequent breaks from screens. Wearing sunglasses when outside can also help prevent dry eye by protecting your eyes from the wind and sun.
At Buckeye Optometry, we offer a range of treatment options to help you find relief and improve your overall eye health. One treatment we often recommend is punctal plugs, which are small plugs inserted into the tear ducts to keep your tears from draining from your eyes. We may also suggest nutraceuticals, which are specialized vitamins that help improve the quality of your tears.
If you’re dealing with itchy eyes, don’t wait to seek professional care. Our team of dedicated eye doctors in Marion can evaluate your symptoms and determine if dry eye is the cause. If you’re diagnosed with dry eye, we’ll figure out the underlying cause and develop a personalized treatment plan. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment.