Do you ever catch yourself rubbing your eyes or blinking rapidly in an attempt to moisten them? Do they sometimes feel scratchy and it seems like an effort to look around? If so, you may be suffering from dry eyes.
Dry eyes are both a symptom and also the name of a relatively common condition to which the symptom refers. Although it isn’t serious problem, it can be very uncomfortable for sufferers. Fortunately, it is fairly easy to treat and there are a variety of solutions available that can ease your symptoms, enabling you to enjoy improved and more comfortable vision.
If you suspect that you are suffering from dry eyes, our dedicated ophthalmologist, Dr. Bogdan and his knowledgeable team would be delighted to assess your eyes and offer you a suitable solution at our offices in Rockport, ME.
Our eyes have natural lubrication and need this moisture to be able to experience a full range of motion and see clearly. This natural lubrication is created by the lacrimal gland which produces a constant film of tears. Many people mistakenly believe that tears are simply water, but this isn’t the case. Instead they contain a comprehensive combination of proteins, antibodies and vital oils that help to keep our eyes healthy and functioning properly.
There are varying reasons why someone might develop dry eyes. Advancing age is one of the most common factors amongst patients with dry eyes. The condition is more common in older people because the natural production of tear film by the lacrimal gland slows down, causing the eyes to dry out. Dry eyes are also a common side effect to some medications. Finally, the condition is more common in patients who spend a lot of time looking at screens such as a computer or smartphone. This is because they blink much less, and this means that the lacrimal gland is stimulated to produce tear film less often.
Other known causes of dry eyes include the menopause, damage or injury to the eye or eyelid or suffering from collagen vascular diseases, rheumatoid arthritis or Sjögren’s syndrome.
Aside from the most obvious symptom of dry eyes, which is of course eyes that feel dry and make it hard to blink, other signs that may also indicate that you have this condition include:
- Stinging or burning
- Redness or swelling
- Blurred vision
- Alternating between excessively wet and very dry eyes
- Heavy eyelids that can cause you to feel tired
- Discharge from the eyes
- Eyes that feel scratchy and sore
- Difficulty paying close visual attention to anything for more than a few moments
- If you wear contact lenses, you may find them very difficult to put them in or remove them, and they may feel uncomfortable while in place
It will be necessary for you to attend a consultation with Dr. Bogdan to determine exactly which treatment will best relieve you of your dry eyes. However, some of the options that may be available to you could include:
Painless, simple to administer and portable, prescription eye drops are the easiest and most common treatment given to patients suffering from dry eyes. They provide essential lubrication to your eyes to eliminate your symptoms.
If prescription eye drops are not an option, Dr. Bogdan may recommend you use a topical solution or oral medications that will help to stimulate tear production.
Lipiflow is an electronic device designed to use heat and gentle massage to remove any blockages in the lacrimal gland so that tear film production can recommence.
Plugs, or punctual plugs as they are sometimes known, can be placed over the ducts which drain tears from the eyes, helping to retain the moisture on the surface for longer.
If you are concerned that you may be suffering from dry eyes or any other ocular condition, our dedicated and professional team are here to help. Please contact us today at 207-887-0022 to schedule your appointment.