Dry eye is a common condition that occurs when your tears aren't able to provide adequate lubrication for your eyes. Tears can be inadequate for many reasons. For example, dry eyes may occur if you don't produce enough tears or if you produce poor-quality tears.
Dry eyes feel uncomfortable. If you have dry eyes, your eyes may sting or burn. You may experience dry eyes in certain situations, such as on an airplane, in an air-conditioned room, while riding a bike or after looking at a computer screen for a few hours.
Tears can be inadequate for many reasons.
Causes of Dry Eye
Medications – A common cause of dry eye is prescription and over-the-counter medications. Usually, they will list dry eye as a side-effect.
Older Adults – As we age, the tear production in the eyes can reduce. This is why most people who have dry eye are over the age of 50.
Having an Immune Disorder – Autoimmune disorders can cause dry eyes. Common conditions include Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren’s syndrome.
Having Allergies – Seasonal allergies can lead to dry, itchy scratchy eyes.
Environmental Conditions – working in dry, dusty or windy conditions can develop symptoms of dry eye. Blinking less often, which tends to occur when you're concentrating, for example, while reading, driving or working at a computer
Eyelid problems - such as out-turning of the lids (ectropion) and in-turning of the lids (entropion)
Symptoms of Dry Eye
Dry eye can result in a wide range of symptoms that may not be readily noticeable. If you have any of these symptoms, it is important to call our office and schedule an appointment with us in order to diagnose the causes of your dry eye and develop a dry eye treatment plan.
- Having blurry vision, difficulty seeing at night or a sensitivity to light
- Having eyes that are scratchy or feel gritty when you blink
- Having red eyes or feeling like your eyes are burning
- Sudden intolerance to wearing contact lenses
Dry Eye Treatment with Capitol Eye Care Center
Dry eye treatment starts with a thorough diagnosis that includes an eye exam to test your eye health and visual acuity. Next, our doctors will measure the volume and quality of your tears. If there is a problem with your tear production or the composition of your tears, a dry eye treatment plan will be developed.
Creams, Eye Drops, and Ointments
For mild to moderate dry eye, our optometrist may recommend eye drops, creams and/or ointments. Eye drops are typically used during the day to keep your eyes hydrated and to reduce symptoms. Creams and ointments are placed in the eyes at night to help keep your eyes hydrated while you sleep.
If you have one or more prescription or over-the-counter medications that list dry eye as a side effect, our doctors may recommend talking to your family doctor about switching to medications that do not cause symptoms of dry eye.
If creams, ointments, and switching medications doesn’t help alleviate your dry eye symptoms, our optometrist may recommend inserting punctal plugs. Punctal plugs are tiny, biocompatible devices that can be inserted into tear ducts to block drainage. This increases the eye's tear film and surface moisture to help relieve certain forms of dry eye.
Prokera® is a cutting-edge new technology that can help treat dry eye conditions and corneal damage that conventional treatments can't. At Capitol Eye Care Center, the team of optometrists is devoted to offering the most up-to-date ocular treatment technologies. If you suffer from corneal damage or experience chronic dry eye Prokera might be right for you.