Dry eye is a condition where your eyes stop producing quality tears to keep them lubricated and moist. As a result, your eyes may become irritated and dry. Dry eye is a common eye condition that can be diagnosed by our Columbia, MO, optometrist during an eye exam. If you’re experiencing problems with your eyes or vision, contact Andrew Stone Optometry at your earliest convenience to determine if you have this condition, so you can get dry eye treatment.
Importance of Tears in Lubricating Your Eyes
Tears play an important role in the function and protection of your eyes. Tears are a mixture of water, oil, mucus, and antibodies, all of which are essential for eye health and function. If any of these ingredients are lacking, your tears won’t effectively lubricate your eyes, which can lead to dry eye symptoms. Poor tear production can also lead to dry eye as there aren’t sufficient tears to keep them moist.
Dry Eye Symptoms
Dry eye symptoms may be mild or severe, depending on the severity of your condition. These symptoms include:
- Eye redness
- Dry, irritated eyes
- A gritty feeling in your eyes
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light
In some cases, your eyes may produce an overabundance of tears to help compensate for eye dryness, leaving your eyes watery. These tears are mostly water, however, and evaporate quickly, making them of little use in lubricating your eyes. Our Columbia, MO, eye doctor can test the tear production of your eyes to see if you have dry eye syndrome.
Dry Eye Causes
Age is the main cause of dry eye as tear production slows down as you grow older. Dry eye may also be caused by irritants in your environment, auto immune diseases that impact tear production, certain types of medications, excessive computer use or as a side effect of eye surgery like LASIK. After reviewing your medical history, our Columbia, MO, eye doctor can help pinpoint the cause or causes of your dry eye condition to see if changes in your lifestyle can help reduce symptoms.
Dry Eye Treatment
There are numerous options for dry eye treatment to coincide with the severity of your condition. For mild cases of dry eye, our eye doctor in Columbia, MO, may recommend artificial tears to lubricate your eyes. In some cases, temporary or long-term punctual plugs can resolve dryness by closing tear ducts so tears cannot escape. This can help to keep your eyes moist. For severe dry eye, we may recommend prescription eyedrops to stimulate tear production to lubricate your eyes.
See Our Columbia, MO, Optometrist for Dry Eye Treatment
To schedule a consultation at Andrew Stone Optometry for dry eye diagnosis and treatment, contact us at (573) 445-7750.