Are you experiencing uncomfortable dry eyes?
Do your eyes feel dry, itchy and uncomfortable on a regular basis? Dry eyes can be caused by a wide range of things, and can be a symptom of a variety of conditions. Your first point of call should be your optician, who may be able to recommend suitable dry eyes treatment, or make the referral to a specialist ophthalmic consultant if they have further concerns.
‘Dry eye syndrome’ can be caused by environmental factors, such as hostile and extreme weather conditions, or using a computer screen. Using certain medications such as anti-depressants can also cause dry eye syndrome. Particular medical conditions can cause dry eye syndrome, such as lupus, HIV, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Dry eyes can also be a side-effect of laser eye surgery, though this should clear up within a few weeks. In the interim, dry eyes treatments can alleviate the symptoms. Allon Barsam has carried out extensive research into dry eyes treatment options, especially in the context of reducing dryness after laser eye surgery.
Meibomian gland dysfunction
The most common cause of dry eyes is evaporation of tears due to meibomian gland dysfunction. Meibum is an oily substance which prevents tears from evaporating, keeping your eyes nice and hydrated. When a Meibomian gland becomes blocked and inflamed, this oily substance is reduced and your eyes can get dehydrated, making them dry and uncomfortable.
This condition is more common in older people, particularly in post-menopausal women. Dry eye syndrome is a common vision change experienced by people over the ago of 50 in both sexes. Women using birth control pills and pregnant women are also at a higher risk due to hormonal changes.
Dry eyes treatment
Artificial tear supplements are a helpful dry eyes treatment solution when tackling this eye condition. In some cases, antibiotics or steroids may be prescribed. Dry eyes themselves can’t be ‘cured’ but the condition causing the dry eyes can be, and artificial tear supplements can alleviate the uncomfortable symptoms.
A diet which is low in Vitamin A and Omega-3 fatty acids can cause dry eye syndrome, so taking supplements or eating more carrots, broccoli, liver, fish, walnuts, and vegetable oils can help.
Dry eyes can be caused by wearing contact lenses, so taking a break from them can help. Speak to your optician as switching brand of contact lens may reduce your propensity to dry eye syndrome.
Dry eyes and your health
Dry eyes should not cause you any long-term health problems but the discomfort can become an issue, and too much dryness can cause permanent damage to the front of your eye. It is important that you seek treatment for dry eyes from your optician as you are at an increased risk of eye infections.
Allon Barsam has extensive experience in diagnosis and dry eyes treatments. Please do contact us to discuss your eye problems and to seek advice on the best course of treatment for you.