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Causes and Treatment Options for Dry Eye Syndrome

Talk to your ophthalmologist about whether you could have a condition called dry eye syndrome. If so, you might experience uncomfortable, irritated eyes that burn or sting and are sensitive to light. Your ophthalmologist might also diagnose you with dry eyes if you have trouble wearing contact lenses or suffer from blurry vision. There are two main causes of dry eyes; keep reading to learn more.

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Decreased Production of Tears

If you do not produce enough of your own natural tears, you may have dry eye syndrome. You have a higher risk of this condition if you are older than 50 or if you are a postmenopausal woman. Tear gland damage and medical conditions such as Sjogren’s syndrome, diabetes, lupus, arthritis, and vitamin A deficiency can also put you at risk for decreased tear production. Disclose your full medical history to your ophthalmologist to determine your risk factors.

Inadequate Quality of Tears

Tears have three main components: oil, water, and mucus. Each of these components play an important role in keeping your eyes lubricated. A deficiency in any of these components can cause dry eye syndrome. Your ophthalmologist might ask you about your specific symptoms to determine if you are deficient in any of these components. For example, an inadequate amount of water can result in a stringy discharge.

Medications

Your ophthalmologist will likely prescribe medications to treat your dry eye syndrome. If your eyelids are inflamed, you could take antibiotics to ease the swelling. Prescription eye drops can address inflammation of the corneas, and might contain cyclosporine or corticosteroids. Your ophthalmologist may also recommend a prescription eye insert, which is a very tiny pellet placed in the lower eyelid.

Tear Duct Plugs

Your ophthalmologist might recommend tear duct plugs, which partially or completely close the tear ducts in order to keep the tears on the eye. This can be accomplished with small silicone plugs, or with a procedure that uses heat to shrink the tissues.

You don’t need to suffer from dry eye syndrome any longer. See an ophthalmologist today at the NYC office of Dr. Mark Hornfeld. Give us a call at (212) 580-8881 or visit our website to learn more about our services.