Dry Eye Isn’t Just a Winter Thing
Our eyes tear continually, not the type that run down your cheeks, but the kind your eyes need to keep lubricated. Sometimes your eyes aren’t producing enough tears, or the tears your eyes are making aren’t getting the job done.
You have dry eye.
At Millennium Park Eye Center, we have various options for treating dry eye.
What causes dry eye?
Age is one of the main causes of dry eye. As we get older our eyes naturally create fewer tears. This is especially true for women who have been through menopause, due to the hormonal changes.
While some dry eye conditions are due to a lack of tears, the composition of those tears can be another cause. If your tears aren’t made up of the right mix, they could evaporate too easily from your eyes, making them dry.
Beyond aging and hormones, there are a variety of other causes of dry eye:
- Entropion (eyelids turn in) or ectropion (eyelids turn outward)
- Certain diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and thyroid disease
- Long periods looking at a computer screen or reading, without blinking frequently enough
- Long use of contact lenses
- Being in smoke, wind, or very dry climates
- Having refractive eye surgery, such as LASIK or PRK
- Side effect of certain medications, such as diuretics, allergy/cold medicines, sleeping pills, anti-anxiety and anti-depressives, heartburn medicines, and beta-blockers
Do I dry eye treatment?
Everybody has dry eyes from time to time. It could be one of those wind tunnel days down by the lake. Or you may have been looking at your computer screen without sufficient breaks. Or it could be due to allergy medication you took in the springtime. For most people who suffer from occasional or mild dry eye, using over-the-counter artificial tears is all the treatment necessary.
Chronic dry eye is another story. Those patients whose dry eye doesn’t respond to artificial tears need to see us at Millennium Park Eye Center. We have a variety of treatments from medications that stimulate tear production to those that reduce eyelid inflammation. If necessary, we may even partially close your tear ducts with punctal plugs if your tears are exiting your eyes too quickly.
Do you feel as if your eyes are dry far more often than normal? Call us at Millennium Park Eye Center, (312) 996-2020, and let’s check them out.