Dry eyes occur when the body’s natural tears are unable to sufficiently lubricate and moisturize the eyes. Tears provide moisture and lubrication to the eyes, helping to maintain clear vision. Tears are comprised of water, oils, mucus, antibodies, and proteins:
- Water: The water contained within tears provide moisture to the eyes
- Oils: The oils within tears provide lubrication for the eyes
- Mucus: The mucus within tears help coat the eyes
- Antibodies and proteins: Antibodies and proteins within tears help protect the eyes from infection
If these components are unbalanced or if one is missing, a person may experience dry eyes. Dry eyes are a common issue among many of our Carlsbad laser eye surgery patients. Fortunately, there are many effective treatments for dry eyes available today.
Symptoms of Dry Eyes
The symptoms associated with dry eyes typically affect both of the eyes and may include:
- Excessive tearing: In an attempt to alleviate dryness within the eyes, the eyes may make an excessive amount of tears. Unfortunately, these tears are almost entirely comprised of water and are unable to provide the necessary moisture or lubrication required to coat the surface of the eyes.
- Sensitivity to light
- A sensation of something being in the eye
- A burning sensation in the eyes
- A scratchy sensation in the eyes
- Eye fatigue
- Redness of the eye
- Blurry vision
Treatment for Dry Eyes
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with dry eyes, we can help. The first step in any treatment plan is a comprehensive eye examination. For our patients in Carlsbad, eye exams are performed to determine the cause and treatment of dry eyes. During this comprehensive eye exam, we will discuss your full medical history including medications that you are currently taking, as well as any health conditions you are currently experiencing. Diabetes, lupus, thyroid disorders, and rheumatoid arthritis are a few of the many medical conditions that can cause dry eyes.
While there are many treatments available in the treatment of dry eyes, the cause and severity of your dry eyes will determine which treatment is best for your unique eye needs. For our patients in Carlsbad, dry eyes treatment may include:
- Prescription eye drops: Prescription eye drops work by reducing inflammation, which can help your body produce more tears.
- Water consumption: By increasing their water intake, patients can avoid worsening dry eye symptoms resulting from dehydration.
- Stopping medications: When medication is the cause of dry eyes, changing to a different medication may eliminate the symptoms of dry eyes.
- Temporary punctal occlusion: This process involves temporarily closing the ducts that drain tears out of the eyes.
- Permanent punctal occlusion: When temporary punctal occlusion is successful, permanent punctal occlusion may be beneficial. Many patients experience a lessening need for artificial tears and improved eye comfort after permanent punctal occlusion.
- Punctal cautery: Surgery to close the tear ducts may be recommended if plugging the tear drainage canals does not adequately relieve symptoms of dry eye.
Learn More about Treatment for Dry Eyes
To learn more about treatment for dry eyes, please contact North County Laser Eye Associates today. We look forward to serving all of your eye care needs