Dry Eye Causes & Treatments
Everyone has experienced dry eye at some point. A problem occurs when dry eye is happening every day making performing normal tasks difficult.
Different Causes of Dry Eye
There are several causes of dry eye. These include but are not limited to environmental etiologies, dysfunction or damage to the eyelid glands, malformations of the eyelid, certain diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, prescription medications, aging, and hormonal changes.
Using Eye Drops
The single most common treatment for dry eye is using over-the-counter eye drops called artificial tears. Some are just a saline solution while others contain various ingredients to improve tear quality. The drops are used whenever the eyes start to feel dry during the day. It is not uncommon for it to take time to find the right eye drops that will work for you. Often, a prescription strength medication is necessitated which can help improve tear production and quality. Additionally, over the counter ointments are available to keep the eye lubricated during sleep. Your doctor will discuss if this is an appropriate treatment for you.
Plug the Tear Ducts
Another treatment option for dry eye is to plug the tear ducts. This can be done temporarily or permanently depending on the individual situation. A tiny plug is inserted into the tear ducts which allow more tears on the corneal surface. The temporary version of this medical procedure uses plugs that will dissolve away over time, whereas permanent plugs will last a lifetime.
Unclog Oil Glands with a Medical Device
Structural problems with the tear ducts can cause them to clog. Treatments are available to allow the oil glands in the eye-lids to flow more easily with application of heat and pressure. This can lead to improved tear film quality and help alleviate dry eye symptoms.