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Dry Eyes

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Do you often feel a burning, itchy or achy sensation in your eyes? You could be dealing with dry eyes, a chronic lack of lubrication and moisture on the surface of the eye. An adequate and consistent layer of tears on the surface of the eye is essential to keep your eyes healthy, comfortable, and seeing well. The results of dry eyes range from subtle but constant eye irritation to significant inflammation. It may even lead to scarring of the front surface of the eye.

There are many causes connected to dry eye syndrome such as computer use, improper wear of contact lenses, aging, and more. There are also a wide range of symptoms including burning, itching, aching, red eyes, and as odd as it may sound, watery eyes can be a symptom of dry eye syndrome. This is because dryness on the eye’s surface can sometimes lead to overproduction of the watery part of your tears as a protective mechanism. But this “reflex tearing” does not stay on the eye long enough to correct the underlying dry eye condition.

Dry eye syndrome is a chronic and progressive condition. Depending on its cause and severity, it may not be completely curable. In most cases, dry eyes can be managed successfully. Treatment usually results in greater comfort, fewer dry eye symptoms, and sometimes, sharper vision. Artificial tears, which can be purchased over the counter, are a great and affordable first line treatment. If you feel that even after using artificial tears for more than four times a day, is still not enough to relieve your dry eye symptoms, other options can be to add prescription eye drops to reduce eye inflammation or to have your eyecare specialist perform a variety of in-office painless procedures to help with dry eyes.

If you think you may have mild dry eye symptoms, you may want to try taking more breaks while using your computer, ensure you thoroughly remove your eye makeup, and be cautious that your fan doesn’t point to your face at night. As always, if you are concerned about your eye health, schedule an exam with your primary eye care provider.