- What are Dry Eye Symptoms?
- What Causes Dry Eyes?
- How an Optometrist Can Help
- Treatment Options
- What You Can Do
Dry eyes can happen to anyone at any time. At Eye Society, we are here to help you with all your eye care needs, including dry eye treatment.
Dry eye syndrome can be a chronic condition, but there is treatment out there. We have two locations in Chicago, and our aim is to help you experience clear, comfortable vision.
What are Dry Eye Symptoms?
Dry eye symptoms can come in several forms. But what do cases of dry eyes feel like?
The most common symptoms of dry eye include:
- Feeling of scratchiness, grittiness, stinging, burning, or itching in the eyes
- Excessive tearing
- Blurry vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Feeling a sensation of having something in the eye
However, these symptoms are not enough proof of Dry Eye unless diagnosed by the optician. If we find that you have the condition, there are plenty of treatment options available.
Can Dry Eyes Cause Headaches?
No, dry eyes typically do not cause headaches. However, if your dry eyes are caused by a condition such as Sjogren’s syndrome, it is possible that the associated inflammation and/or medications used to treat the condition could contribute to headaches.
If you have persistent headaches that are accompanied by dry eyes, it is recommended that you schedule an appointment with an eye doctor.
Can Dry Eyes Cause Blindness?
No, dry eyes alone do not typically cause blindness. However, if left untreated, dry eyes can lead to complications that can cause vision loss or blindness.
These complications include corneal scarring, corneal ulcers, and optic nerve damage.
Can Dry Eyes Cause Floaters?
No, dry eyes do not cause floaters. Floaters are typically caused by changes in the vitreous, the jelly-like substance that fills the middle of the eye.
Floaters can also be caused by age-related changes of the vitreous, inflammation or bleeding in the eye, or other eye conditions.
What Causes Dry Eyes?
Dry eye is an abnormality on the layer of the eye (ocular surface), which prevents the delicate eye tissues and facilitates vision. These defects affect your ability to perceive things properly.
Dry eye does not necessarily mean that your eyes are literally dry. However, when you have Dry Eye Syndrome, it means that your eyes have a problem with the tear film.
People with dry eyes may have trouble producing enough tears, but there can be many other reasons for dry eyes.
Some of the factors that cause dry eyes include:
- Environmental conditions (dry air)
- Prolonged use of digital devices
- Certain medications
- Medical conditions (such as blepharitis, keratoconjunctivitis sicca, and Sjogren’s syndrome)
In addition, some medications can cause your body to produce less liquid, and that could have an impact your tear film.
There are also eyelid conditions that can prevent tears from forming.
Why are my eyes dry when I wake up?
Dry eye when waking up is often caused by environmental factors like sleeping in a dry or dusty room, or sleeping in an air-conditioned room.
It can also be caused by not blinking enough during sleep, or by not producing enough tears during sleep.
Running an air humidifier at night while you sleep might help your dry eye symptoms, but you should contact an eye specialist to learn more.
Can allergies cause dry eyes?
Yes, allergies can cause dry eyes. People with allergies often experience an increase in eye irritation and dryness due to the release of histamine into the body.
Histamine can cause inflammation of the conjunctiva, which is the thin layer of tissue that covers the front of the eye, resulting in dryness and irritation.
How an Optometrist Can Help
If you only have dry eyes every now and then, a few drops may fix the problem. However, your optometrist can do a comprehensive eye exam to diagnose any eye issues you may have.
Measuring your tear volume, alongside the quality of those tears, can give us the information we need to find a course of treatment to alleviate your dry eye symptoms.
Over the counter eye drops
If it is not too severe, simple over the counter eye drops may be all you need.
You can find some of the best eye drops for dry eyes by visiting our online shop.
Prescription eye drops
When those aren’t enough, our optometry professional in Chicago can order you prescription strength eye drops that may help.
Tear duct medication and inserts
There are also medications that can reduce inflammation in the eyelids, which may be clogging up your tear ducts. In some severe cases, inserts are used that can create artificial tears.
There are also drugs that stimulate teardrops which may also be prescribed.
If medicine does not work, and eye drops don’t work either, there are some things an optometrist can do. Some physical treatments include:
- Treatment to close some tear ducts to reduce tear loss
- Special contact lenses (see Scleral Lenses)
- Use heat therapy to unblock oil glands
- Light therapy
- Eyelid massage
What You Can Do
While our treatments are very effective, there are also some things you can do to help the process.
Over the counter eye drops are a good starting point. Ointments are also helpful to some.
Finally, applying a warm, wet cloth to your eyes can offer some relief and comfort.
You can find some additional frequently asked questions below.
What Are The Possible Factors That Will Lead To Dry Eye?
The condition may arise as a result of too much exposure to computer light, aging, and environmental irritants such as dust.
Also, Dry Eye Disease may arise as a side effect of a certain eye medication. You may as well develop Dry Eye by undergoing eye surgical procedures.
What is Lid Therapy?
Lid therapy helps the Meibomian glands to produce meibum, which will help your eyes to get rid of your tears faster through the tear film.
This is achieved by massaging the Meibomian glands in order to improve its secretions.
Schedule an Appointment
If you are a Chicago resident and have any of these symptoms or suspect that you may be suffering from one of the mentioned conditions, you need to see our optometrists in Chicago immediately.