If your eyes fail to maintain adequate lubrication due to reduced quality or quantity of tears, you may be diagnosed with chronic dry eyes or dry eye syndrome. The risk of suffering dry eyes increases as you age, especially if you take medications that dehydrate tissues (beta blockers, antihistamines, antidepressants). Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and thyroid disorders are known to decrease tear production by interfering with tear gland activity. Your eye doctor in Lutz FL urges everyone with dry eye to get a proper diagnosis so that treatment specifically addresses the underlying reason for dry eye symptoms.
Signs of Dry Eye
When your eyes are consistently dry, you may experience a variety of symptoms ranging from mild irritation and redness to scratchiness and pain whenever you blink. Other signs your eyes lack sufficient tears include:
- Recurring stinging and burning that isn’t relieved with over-the-counter eye drops
- Excessive tearing followed by dryness
- Blurred vision
- Morning crustiness
- Feeling like your eyelids are heavy and difficult to hold open
An untreated dry eye may lead to cornea scratching, corneal ulcers or ocular infections. Tears not only provide lubrication essential for eyelid movement and keeping vision clear, they also have disinfecting properties to help reduce instances of bacterial or viral infections.
How Your Lutz FL Eye Doctor Treats Dry Eyes
If you must take medications that dry out your eyes, your optometrist may prescribe lubricating eye drops to relieve symptoms. During your eye exam, your eye doctor will also check functioning of your tear glands. When dysfunctional tear glands are responsible for dry eyes, minimally invasive procedures such as punctual plugs can be inserted in tear ducts to prevent fluids from draining out of your eyes.
Dry eye symptoms can be due to poor tear quality that allows tears to evaporate too quickly to hydrate your eyes. Eye drops are available to enhance tear quality so that tears spread evenly over your cornea without evaporating.
For relief from the itching, redness and blurred vision of dry eyes, call Visionary Eye Care today at (813) 425-9596 to schedule an appointment with your Lutz FL eye doctor.