What You Should Know About Dry Eye

Many people go about their days not really giving much thought to their eye health. At least, they do so until there is a problem. Dry eye is one such problem you may face in your life. Get to know some of the important facts about dry eye as well as the treatments available to help you manage and deal with the condition. Then, if you ever experience dry eye symptoms, you will know what to do and how to handle the situation. 

Symptoms of Dry Eye

The most common symptom of dry eye is to experience pain in your eye, specifically pain in the form of stinging or burning. Your eye may also feel scratchy when it is dry. Eyes often become red when dry eye occurs. 

Sometimes, people have mucus around their eyes when they have dry eye. They also may feel as though something is constantly in their eye even though nothing can be found. Sensitivity to light is also possible. 

When you have dry eye, it will likely become tough to wear contacts because there is no moisture in the eye to lubricate them. Dry eye can affect one or both eyes. 

What Dry Eye Can Do

Many people think that conditions like dry eye are uncomfortable but not a major problem. However, this eye condition can cause other problems in the eyes. For example, people with dry eye are unable to wear their contact lenses, which can decrease their quality of life and sense of self and appearance. 

Additionally, people with this condition are prone to eye infections. The liquid and tears that normally coat the eye are protective in nature and can block bacteria and the like from getting into the sensitive tissues of the eye. Without it, your eye is subject to any number of infectious agents. 

Treatment Options

Luckily, there are ways to treat dry eye so that you can prevent infections and damage to the eye (another potential side effect of dry eye).  Over-the-counter artificial tears are one such option. These can be found at the drug store with the other eye drops. These artificial tears will act like your regular tears and lubricate the eye. The only trouble with this is that they are not long-acting and you will likely have to apply them several times a day.

There are also prescription eye drops that can be used to treat dry eye. Some of these contain steroids to reduce inflammation in hopes that the tear ducts will begin functioning again. More invasive treatments for dry eye involve plugging the tear ducts (which drain tears away) either using heat or removable plugs.

Now that you know more about dry eye and what can be done about it, you can contact your eye doctor right away if you notice symptoms.

To learn more about dry eye treatment, reach out to a local ophthalmologist.