Dry eyes — one of the most common and irritating conditions — occurs when you are unable to produce tears that efficiently lubricate your eyes, or you can’t produce enough of them.
It’s more likely to occur in middle-aged to older adults. Almost 5 million Americans who are 50 and older experience dry eyes — and of those, 65% are women.
Dry eyes can be mild or chronic, and in most cases, it’s easily treatable. If you’re constantly struggling with dry eyes, it’s possible that an underlying issue is the cause.
At Ethos Medical Group, we specialize in treating dry eyes. Our experts find the source of your dry eyes and determine the best route for treatment.
What causes dry eyes?
Dry eyes develop when tear production decreases. Your eyes have multiple layers made up of water, oils, and mucus. These layers make up the tear film, which helps lubricate the eyes. Sometimes, certain conditions can reduce lubrication from the tear film.
A decrease of lubricant in your eyes might be from:
- Medical conditions like diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis
- Medications like decongestants, blood pressure medications, and antihistamines
- Environmental conditions, such as dry climates
- LASIK eye surgery
Other factors, like staring at an electronic screen for too long, are also known to cause dry eyes because you don’t blink as often.
Women are more susceptible to dry eyes because of hormonal changes during pregnancy and after menopause.
Our comprehensive eye exam can diagnose the cause of your dry eyes. We review your medical history, current medications, and your overall health to narrow down the source.
Symptoms of dry eyes
Most symptoms of dry eyes are easy to detect. These symptoms may include:
- Excessive watering followed by grittiness
- Feeling like something is in your eye
- Blurred vision
It’s important to start treating dry eyes right away. Chronic dry eyes can affect your vision down the road.
How is it treated?
Mild cases of dry eyes can often be treated with over-the-counter artificial drops. We typically recommend this first to see if it alleviates your dry eyes.
A prescription strength eye drop is another solution to treating mild to moderate dry eyes. Prescription eye drops promote lubrication by increasing tear production.
If our team discovers any inflammation in your eye or eyelid, we might prescribe eye drops or ointments to soothe and decrease it.
In some cases of chronic dry eyes, if it doesn’t respond to other treatments, we may consider a surgical approach that blocks the drainage ducts in your eyes. It forces tears to remain in your eyes longer.
Some additional tips for relieving your dry eyes at home are:
- Blink often when looking at screens or reading
- Reduce exposure to outdoor elements like dry winds by wearing sunglasses
- Apply eye drops when dry eye affects your vision
Learn more about dry eye care
For more detailed information about treating dry eyes, meet with our team of dry eye experts at Ethos Medical Group. We provide customized, high-quality eye care throughout Orange, CA, and the surrounding areas.
Book your appointment online or by calling our office today.