Dry eye is such a common eye health condition that the National Institutes of Health estimate that at least 16 million Americans have it. Fortunately, this is a treatable condition. Our eye doctors at ClearView Eyecare would like to discuss some of the questions we run into regarding dry eye. If you are experiencing dry eye and live in or around Bellingham or Northern Washington, contact us today to schedule an appointment.
What Are the Symptoms of Dry Eye?
Your eyes are itchy, burning, stinging, or feel gritty. Dry eye makes light painful to tolerate and contacts difficult to wear. You may find it hard to see when driving at night. You could have red eyes, discharge from the eyes, watery eyes, blurry vision, and eyes that become more tired than usual.
What Causes Dry Eye?
Dry eyes occur when the eyes are unable to produce enough tears. The tears that you can produce evaporate faster than your eyes can produce tears. This is caused by many factors, including your age, if you have certain health conditions like an eye disease, if you use contact lenses, use certain medications like antihistamines, or if you recently had laser eye surgery.
What Are the Risk Factors for Dry Eye?
You are at risk of getting dry eye if you are older than 50, wear contact lenses, do not eat enough vitamin A or omega-3 fatty acids, or just had eye surgery. Women also get dry eyes more than men due to the hormonal changes they experience, especially during menopause.
What is the Worst That Can Happen with Dry Eyes?
If chronic dry eyes are not treated, they can cause permanent damage to the eyes, which can affect your vision. Constantly dry eyes are also prone to infections. If you experience dry eye, go to your eye doctor for an eye exam.
How is Dry Eye Diagnosed?
Your eye doctor will perform several tests, including taking samples of your tears. Since other vision conditions cause similar symptoms to dry eye, it is important to get frequent eye exams to get the best treatment for your dry eyes.
How is Dry Eye Treated?
Dry eye is treated with a combination of medications, eye drops, and lifestyle changes. Sometimes, tiny silicone plugs are inserted into your tear ducts to help preserve your tears.
Contact Our Eye Doctors in Bellingham, WA
If you have questions about your dry eyes and live in the Northern Washington or Bellingham area, contact ClearView Eyecare to speak with one of our eye doctors. Call our team today at (360) 392 8306 to learn more.