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When to Be Concerned About Dry Eyes

Tears lubricate the eye and stop its surface from drying out. They are a mixture of oil, mucus, and water that protect the eyes from infection and injury. Your eyes produce tears naturally. You might not give much thought to the amount and/or quality of tears your eyes produce.


You may have dry eyes even if you think you do not have this condition. Dry eye syndrome is one of the most common eye conditions. In most cases, it is temporary. Some of the circumstances that might cause your eyes to dry out include allergies, too much screen time, or the production of inadequate tears.


But no matter the reason, you should know when to seek treatment from your eye doctor. You do not have to live with the symptoms of dry eyes.




Symptoms of Dry Eyes



This eye condition can cause many different symptoms. Some of these include:
 

  • Itchiness, burning or stinging.
     

  • Sensitivity to light.
     

  • Stringy mucus around and in your eyes.
     

  • Feel like there is something in your eyes.
     

  • Eye redness.
     

  • Difficulty driving at night.
     

  • Trouble using contact lenses.
     

  • Blurry vision.
     

  • Watery eyes.
     

  • Heavy eyelids or eye fatigue.
     

  • End-of-day tension headaches.


In most cases, dry eyes are manageable through over-the-counter medications, such as gels, artificial tears, and ointments. But sometimes, you may need to seek treatment from an eye doctor.




Signs You Should See an Eye Doctor for Dry Eyes



If you have prolonged and significant cases of dry eye, you might need medical treatment. Symptoms of this condition may be more serious than just feeling dryness in your eyes when you blink. If the tears you produce are unable to provide adequate lubrication for your eyes, you should consider seeing an eye doctor.


This is because tear instability can lead to damage and inflammation of the surface of the eye. It is important to seek treatment for dry eyes if you experience the symptoms listed above.




Risk Factors



Several factors can increase your chances of developing this eye condition. Some of these include:
 

  • Hormonal changes.
     

  • Aging.
     

  • Too much digital screen use.
     

  • Certain medications, such as anti-depressants, allergy medications, blood pressure medications, and birth control pills.
     

  • Medical conditions like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disorders, and lupus.




Are You at Risk of Dry Eyes?



According to studies, women tend to be more susceptible to this eye condition than men. Also, if you are over the age of 50, you are at a greater risk of experiencing dry eyes. Do you get enough vitamin A? If not, you have an increased likelihood of experiencing this condition.




When and Where to Seek Help



With typical dry eye, your primary physician will diagnose the problem and suggest the appropriate treatment. But in a severe case of dry eye, you may need to seek treatment from an eye specialist. If the condition gives you discomfort or prevents you from accomplishing your daily tasks, you need to be concerned.


You need to visit an eye doctor if your symptoms persist despite using at-home treatments. Also, if you are unsure of the cause of your dry eyes, it is important to seek expert help. You need to understand that dry eyes, over time, can cause pain, scars, or ulcers on your eye’s surface. These complications can lead to vision problems.




For more on dry eyes, visit Advanced Eyecare Consultants at our office in Libertyville or Lake Zurich, Illinois. You can call 847-994-4500 or 847-438-7700 today to schedule an appointment.

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