Dry Eye Syndrome: The Causes and Treatment

Dry eye syndrome is more than dry eyes. It’s a problem that involves your tears and how often they are produced.

Your tears have an important purpose: they keep your eyes clean and healthy. The glands located in your upper eyelid are responsible for producing tears, and every time you blink, they are pushed across your eye. The tears then flow into the tear ducts in the corner of your eyelids and are washed away.

If you have dry eye syndrome, the glands don’t produce enough tears, or the tears evaporate too quickly. Though anyone can have dry eye syndrome, it tends to be more common in people with diabetes or allergic conjunctivitis.

Let’s take a closer look at the causes of dry eye syndrome and what you can do to relieve the symptoms. Fortunately, this is one condition that can be successfully treated.

Frequent Causes of Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eyes can be caused by a number of things. The most common include being outdoors in the sun and wind, staring at a computer screen or being tired. You can probably think back to being in high school or college, staring at a screen as you wrote a paper. Your eyes might have felt dry and sticky.

Some medications can dry out the eyes, particularly antihistamines. Wearing contact lenses can sap moisture from your eyes, as well as cigarette smoke and some types of eye surgeries, including LASIK. For other people, it’s getting older that seems to increase dryness.

If you think you have dry eye syndrome, it’s important to see an eye specialist. There are many things that can be done to improve tear production so that you are feeling comfortable again.

Remedies for Treating Dry Eye Syndrome

To determine if you have dry eye syndrome, an eye doctor will listen to your symptoms and perform and eye test to see if your eyes are making enough tears. If it’s found that you do have the condition, here are some treatments that might be offered.

Artificial tear drops or ointments. These products can be purchased over the counter and used as directed.

Blink more often. This is especially important when outdoors in the sun or wind or when staring at a computer screen. You might need to take more frequent breaks and do eye exercises. Check out these three eye strain exercises that have been proven effective.

Sleep with a humidifier. A simple humidifier can add moisture to your bedroom. Another good place for a humidifier is in your office where you spend a lot of time.

Wear sunglasses. Anytime you are outdoors or driving, keep your eyes protected from the sun and wind with a pair of sunglasses.

Prescription ointments and eye drops. More serious cases of dry eye syndrome might require prescription medication, such as Restasis.

Tear duct plugs. Tear duct plugs can be inserted into the openings of your tear ducts to keep tears from draining out.

If you believe that you have eye dry syndrome, visit your eye doctor for a full assessment and get treated before any damage is done.