Many people are troubled by the symptoms of dry eye syndrome. The symptoms may come and go for some but may recur often enough to be a nuisance. The gritty sensation, redness, excess tearing, and burning that can happen when the tear film is compromised can be so uncomfortable that normal daily activities are interrupted. If you experience the symptoms of dry eye, a visit with your local Ocala eye doctor can help. Here, we discuss why the symptoms of dry eye may occur.
Dry eye symptoms may result from one or more triggers, including:
- The weather. When the environment becomes excessively dry, which it can do in the wintertime even more so than the summertime, and when it’s windy, the tear film may evaporate too quickly. In mild cases, an over-the-counter eye drop can lubricate the ocular surface to improve comfort. In more severe cases, a prescription eye drop or other treatments may be necessary.
- We spend much of our days on some form of an electronic device. At work, we may look at a computer screen for several hours. We go from work to using our smartphones. This can create digital eye strain, which triggers dryness, grittiness, and burning. Sometimes, just being careful to blink frequently and take breaks can help.
- Medical conditions. Studies suggest that people with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, arthritis, or lupus, may experience more issues with the symptoms of dry eye. If a medical condition is related to dry eye, treatment will focus on improving comfort while getting the primary health issue under control.
- We think of allergies as making the nose run, making us sneeze or cough, and maybe making the eyes tear more than usual. Allergies can also affect the tear film in a way that makes it evaporate faster than it should. Treatment may revolve around reducing the allergic reaction and using eye drops as needed to minimize symptoms.
- This eye condition relates to the dysfunction of the meibomian glands in the eyes. These glands produce the oil that mixes with water and mucus to form the tear film. Blepharitis can be a chronic condition but treatments exist to reduce flare-ups. It is also necessary to keep the eyelids clean. Eye drops may be needed to improve comfort.