One of the main complaints that lead patients to seek eye doctors in Plano is dry eyes, maybe because the arid climate aggravates the condition. Dry eye syndrome is uncomfortable and sometimes painful, but it can be treated. Here, we discuss the causes, symptoms, and solutions associated with dry eye syndrome.
- Causes: Tears are made up of three components: oil, water, and mucus. In a nutshell, dry eyes are caused by an inadequate production of tears. For some people, they simply don’t make enough tears, but for others, they create enough tears but the components of the tears are imbalanced. Some environmental factors that can result in dry eyes include humidity, pollution, and temperature. Additionally, tear production can be disrupted by eyelid problems, certain medications, some diseases, and simple aging.
- Symptoms: Dry eye syndrome is often characterized by irritated, stinging, scratchy eyes, but can also cause excessive tearing. It can cause a feeling of grit in the eyes, redness, and blurred vision. The condition can be diagnosed easily and painlessly through a routine eye exam.
- Treatment: There are many treatments available for dry eye syndrome.
- Artificial tear drops and ointments: Available over the counter, this is the primary treatment for dry eyes. It may be a matter of trial and error to find out which kind works for you, because not every drop works for every person. If you suffer from chronic dry eye, it is crucial to use the drops even when you are not experiencing symptoms, in order to keep the eyes well lubricated.
- Punctal occlusion: This is a procedure that closes the ducts that drain tears from the eyes. It can be temporary or permanent. It usually is done on a temporary basis first, with a plug that will dissolve in a few days. If that works, permanent plugs, made of silicone, can be used.
- Restasis: The eye drop Restasis was approved in 2002 by the FDA. What differentiates it from over-the-counter drops is its ability to help the eyes increase their own tear production.
- Other medications: Doctors sometimes prescribe topical steroids or other medications, which may be helpful.
- Surgery: If none of these measures prove helpful, surgery can be performed under local anesthesia to close the tear ducts, which allows tears to stay in the eyes.
Because the Dallas/Fort Worth area has been identified by the National Women’s Health Resource Center as the fifth-highest city for diagnosed dry eyes, you may find yourself looking for eye doctors in Plano. Fortunately, Key-Whitman has been a leading eye-care center for fifty years. Check out their website to learn more about dry eye syndrome, download a dry eye quiz, and learn how their team of experienced physicians can help you.