Dry eye syndrome is one of the most common types of eye problems, affecting millions of people every year. It’s also one of the easiest eye conditions to treat, but it can have a big impact on your quality of life if left untreated.
Read on as a Fort Worth, TX optometrist talks about dry eyes, what causes it, and when it’s time to see an eye doctor.
What Causes Dry Eyes?
Dry eyes are a common problem, and they can be caused by a variety of factors. The most common cause of dry eye syndrome is a deficiency in the tear film.
The tear film is made up of three layers: the mucus layer, the lipid layer, and the aqueous layer.
- The mucus layer prevents evaporation from occurring.
- The lipid layer helps prevent evaporation as well as protects your cornea from bacteria and other foreign substances.
- The aqueous layer provides nutrients to your cornea and keeps it healthy by keeping the cornea moistened with tears.
If any one of these layers is deficient or not functioning properly, it can lead to dry eyes.
Symptoms of Dry Eyes
- Dry eyes symptoms include:
- Eye pain or burning
- Redness and irritation in your eyes
- A feeling of grittiness or sandiness in your eyes
- Blurred vision
- Burning or scratchy eyes
- Watery discharge from the eyes
- Sensitivity to light
When to See an Eye Doctor
And if you’re concerned about the severity of your dry eye symptoms, speak to an eye care provider. They can assess your tear production and determine the severity of your dry eye symptoms.
If you frequently experience symptoms of dry eyes, it might be a good idea to see an eye doctor, as the lack of lubrication may be a sign of other medical problems.
You should make an appointment with your eye care provider if:
- Your dry eyes are persistent or have been present for at least three months.
- You have tried over-the-counter drops to relieve dry eyes, and they haven’t helped.
- You have a history of seasonal allergies or hay fever and your symptoms are worse than usual.
There are several effective treatments available for dry eyes and it’s important to begin treatment as soon as possible so that your symptoms don’t get worse over time.
And if you have more questions or wish to schedule an eye exam, please feel free to call us, your local Fort Worth, TX optometrist, anytime!