What Causes Dry Eyes and What Are the Treatment Options?
Having dry eyes is a relatively common condition in which your tear ducts are unable to provide enough lubrication for the eyes. There are many reasons why your tears are inadequate. For example, dry eyes may occur due to poor-quality tears. Often you’ll feel uncomfortable, or have a stinging and burning sensation. Let’s break down the causes and a few treatment options now!
Causes of Dry Eyes
Typically, the most common cause of dry eyes is due to a lack of adequate tears. Tears are complex. They are a mixture of water, fatty oils, and mucus. This combination helps ensure the surface of your eye is smooth and clear, protecting it from infection.
For some, dry eyes are due to lack of tear production. For others, it could be increased tear evaporation or an imbalance.
Decreased tear production is commonly caused by:
- Medical conditions, such as diabetes, lupus, thyroid disorders, or Vitamin A deficiency
- Medications, including antihistamines, hormone replacement therapy, decongestants, and antidepressants
- Laser eye surgery
- Tear gland damage
Increased tear evaporation is caused by:
- Wind, smoke, or dry air
- Blinking less often
- Eyelid problems
Dry Eyes Treatment
Dry eye syndrome is chronic and progressive. However, there are treatment options available to satisfy the problem, including:
- Artificial Tears – For mild dry eyes, typically caused by computer use, reading, or schoolwork, the best treatment is frequent use of artificial tears or lubricating eye drops.
- Restasis – Your doctor may recommend daily use of prescription eye drops, known as Restasis, for dry eye treatment. Restasis lubricates the surface of the eye and reduces inflammation.
- Steroids – Steroid eye drops are stronger than artificial tears and adequately address inflammation issues in the eye.