Rehydrate Your Eyes at Lemon Grove Optometry
While some forms of DED are mild and simply uncomfortable, other types are more severe and can lead to long-term complications. No matter the severity of your DED, we’re here to help. At Lemon Grove Optometry, we provide comprehensive DED diagnosis and innovative treatments that can provide lasting relief.
Causes of Dry Eye Disease
You may not think much about them, but your tears play an integral part in keeping your eyes healthy and comfortable. When your tears can’t do their job, DED occurs. There are several reasons why your tears may not work correctly:
- Your tear glands don’t make enough tears to hydrate your eyes
- Your tears evaporate too quickly
- Your tears don’t work well enough to nourish your eyes
The Tear Film
Tears are created in tiny glands above your eyes, are spread across the surface of your eye every time you blink, then drain into your tear ducts or down your nose.
The tear film is made of 3 distinct layers:
- The mucin layer is the inner mucus layer that helps the tear film stick to the eye’s surface.
- The aqueous layer is the watery middle layer that hydrates the eyes and nourishes the eye tissues.
- The lipid layer is the outer oily layer that keeps your tears from evaporating too quickly and keeps your eye’s surface smooth.
Causes of Dry Eye Disease
So what causes an issue with your tear production and quality to begin with? Some health conditions, like diabetes, lupus, Sjögren’s syndrome, or thyroid problems, can affect how your eyes produce tears.
Some other factors that can contribute to dry eye disease include:
- Your age: DED is common in those over 50.
- Your sex: women are more likely to develop dry eye symptoms.
- Medications you take: some medicines cause dry eyes as a side effect.
- Your environment: dry, windy, or smoky environments can make your tears evaporate too fast, leaving them dry.
- How often you use digital devices: those who spend a lot of time working on computers, smartphones, or tablets tend to blink less, which can cause dry eyes.
Symptoms of Dry Eye Disease
DED comes with many uncomfortable and irritating symptoms. If you have DED, you may experience any or all of the following symptoms:
Treating Dry Eye Disease
There are many treatment options for DED, but the treatment that will work best for your eyes depends on the cause of your DED.
Our optometric team will determine the reason for your DED and then work with you to design a comprehensive treatment plan to bring you relief. At Lemon Grove Optometry, we may offer you:
- Over-the-counter eye drops: Mild dry eyes can be treated with artificial tears. These can be purchased without a prescription, but our optometrists cna help show you how to choose the right ones for your symptoms.
- Prescription medicines: Prescription medications can be used to treat more advanced dry eyes. Restasis helps your eyes produce more tears and Xiidra reduces inflammation, making your eyes more comfortable.
- Lifestyle changes: If your environment is causing your dry eyes, you can make some lifestyle changes to help: try to avoid smoke, wind, or air conditioning; use a humidifier if your home is dry; limit your time using digital screens; wear sunglasses while outside. Additionally, if your medications are causing dry eyes, talk to your doctor about making a change to something without ocular side effects.
- Punctal plugs: If your tears drain too quickly, tiny plugs can be inserted in your puncta, your tear glands. These plugs keep your tears in your eyes.
No matter the cause of your dry eyes, our team at Lemon Grove Optometry is dedicated to providing you with an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan. You don’t need to live with your irritating symptoms! If you think you have dry eye disease, please call us today and let us find you long-term relief.