When you have dry eyes, they feel scratchy, they burn, and you might have blurred vision. You want to scratch and rub them, and you may be using over-the-counter eye drops regularly to try and get rid of the redness and relieve all the symptoms. Moisture drops may work, but chronic dry eye is something different and needs more serious care. When you need that extra care, that’s when to see an ophthalmologist like Hecht Eye Institute for chronic dry eye.
What Is Chronic Dry Eye?
Whereas simple dry eye symptoms may be irritating, they are usually temporary and relieved with over-the-counter medications. Chronic dry eye is actually a disease, many times referred to as a syndrome.
When your eyes do not produce sufficient tears to keep your eyes comfortable and healthy, and/or they don’t produce the right kind of tear film, this is dry eye syndrome.
Each time we blink, a film of tears spreads over our eyes. This is important for clear vision and to maintain the health of our eyes by removing debris and washing away particles that don’t belong there.
We need this constant lubrication otherwise, inflammation and damage to the surface of your eyes can occur.
Common Causes Of Chronic Dry Eye
Both decreased tear production and an increase in tear evaporation cause most cases of chronic dry eye.
Decreased tear production can be a result of the following:
- Getting older
- Certain medical conditions like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disorders, and Vitamin A deficiency
- Medications like antihistamines, decongestants, hormone replacement therapy, antidepressants, high blood pressure drugs, and medications for Parkinson’s disease
- Contact lenses
Increased tear evaporation is caused by the following:
- Blinking less due to activities which include computers, reading, and driving
- Wind, smoke, and dry air
Tests And Treatments Available In Southern California
Hecht Eye Institute will perform several different tests to evaluate the quality (thickness) and quantity of your tears. Your eyelids and corneal surface will be checked as well as how you blink along with how quickly you produce tears.
There are prescription meds customized for your specific dry eye problem, several procedures and even surgery if needed.
Prolonged symptoms of dry eye without treatment can result in eye infections and inflammations, damage to the cornea like painful abrasions, corneal ulcers, and vision loss.