Everyone’s eyes feel irritated or dry sometimes, but for some people, the symptoms of dry eyes are severe and chronic, and they interfere with their vision and quality of life. Dry eye syndrome arises when your eyes have a chronic lack of lubrication required to keep them sufficiently moisturized. The condition causes uncomfortable symptoms like sensitivity to light, watery, itching, or burning eyes, discomfort wearing contact lenses, and feeling like your eyes have a foreign body. Dry eye syndrome can result from various reasons but can be controlled and managed with the expertise of Nicholas Rutkowski, O.D. and Associates – a center for dry eye treatment in Elgin.
Causes of Dry Eyes
Healthy eyes are covered by a film of tears throughout; the tears assist in keeping your eyes lubricated and functioning optimally. A healthy tear layer consists of three layers: mucous, water, and oil layers. If the composition of your tears lacks any of these components, the disparity can result in problems that cause dry eyes.
An example of this is meibomian gland dysfunction. The gland is responsible for producing the oil layer of your tears. If the gland does not work correctly, your tears will not have the oily layer it requires. What happens is that tears evaporate from the surface of your eyes very quickly, and therefore does not keep your eyes lubricated as necessary.
Another situation that commonly triggers dry eye syndrome is the malfunctioning of the lacrimal glands, which produce the watery layer of your tear film. In such a case, the tear layer lacks the watery element it requires to moisturize your eyes. Apart from the malfunctioning of the lacrimal and meibomian glands, several other factors can cause dry eye syndrome. They include:
- Certain medications (e.g., birth control pills, antidepressants, antihistamines)
- Environmental factors like arid, windy, or arid climates
- Prolonged use of computers
- Abnormal eye pressure
When you visit Nicholas Rutkowski, O.D., and Associates with the symptoms of dry eyes, they will determine the root cause of your problem as that will dictate how they will treat your problem.
Symptoms of dry eyes
Every patient experiences dry eye differently as there are several potential underlying causes.
Typical symptoms include:
- Excessive tearing, or eyes that often look watery
- Increased sensitivity to sunlight or bright lights
- Eyes that feel itchy or as if they have a foreign material
- Consistent tingling or burning sensations in the eyes
- Redness or eyes that look bloodshot and irritated
Diagnosis and treatment of dry eyes
Because the underlying cause varies from person to person, treatment methods vary according to the patient.
Specialists at Nicholas Rutkowski, O.D. and Associates can diagnose your problem through screening for various conditions, measuring the osmolarity of the tear layer, and imaging of the meibomian glands.
Some of the conventional treatments for dry eyes include:
- In-office procedures to assist in improving the function of tear glands
- Proper eyelid hygiene or blinking exercises
- Treating oil glands
- Prescription of eye drops to remedy the inflammation
If the issue is caused by inflammation, the doctor can prescribe low-dose antibiotics.
Dry eyes not only cause discomfort, but they can also cause severe health issues to your eyes. Book an appointment at Nicholas Rutkowski, O.D. and Associates to find relief.