Dry Eyes in Bethany, Edmond, El Reno and Mustang
Dry eye is a very common condition caused by inadequate tear production, which itself can have many causes, or poor tear quality that causes stinging or burning in the eyes. Some people experience dry eyes temporarily on airplanes, in air-conditioned rooms, or while looking at computer screens for several hours. Dry eyes symptoms can be mild and temporary, in which case over-the-counter (OTC) eye drops can provide relief.
Dry Eye Symptoms
The symptoms, which usually affect both eyes, may include:
- Stinging, burning or scratchy sensations
- Stringy mucus in or around your eyes
- Sensitivity to light
- Feeling like there’s something in your eyes
- Difficulty wearing contact lenses
- Difficulty with nighttime driving
- Watery eyes, which is the body's response to dry eye irritation
- Blurred vision or eye fatigue
What Causes Dry Eye?
Dry eye is caused by lack of adequate tears. Your tears help protect your eyes from infection. One cause of dry eyes is decreased tear production. Others include increased tear evaporation and an imbalance in the makeup of your tears. The medical term for dry eye is kerato-conjunctivitis sicca. Common causes of decreased tear production include:
- Certain medical conditions (e.g. diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma, Sjogren's syndrome, thyroid disorders and vitamin A deficiency)
- Certain medications (e.g. antihistamines, decongestants, hormone replacements, antidepressants and drugs for high blood pressure, acne, birth control and Parkinson's disease
- Laser eye surgery, though symptoms are usually temporary
- Tear gland damage from inflammation or radiation
- Increased tear evaporation
Common causes of increased tear evaporation include:
- Wind, smoke or dry air
- Blinking less often when you're concentrating, while reading, driving or working at a computer
- Out-turning eyelids (ectropion) or in-turning eyelids (entropion)
- Imbalance in tear composition
Tears have three basic layers consisting of oil, water and mucus. The oil film produced by small glands at the edge of your eyelids (called meibomian glands) can become clogged. These blocked glands are more common in people who have inflammation of their eyelids (blepharitis), rosacea and other skin problems.
Dry Eye Treatment From A Board-Certified Ophthalmologist
If your dry eyes symptoms are more persistent and serious, you may need other dry eye treatments. These can include prescription medications, removable punctal plugs, special contact lenses, eyelid massage or even light therapy. One or more of these treatments should make you more comfortable.
You can trust your dry eyes to our experienced ophthalmologist if you live in the communities of Bethany, Edmond, El Reno, Mustang, Norman, Piedmont and Yukon, you are sure to find the right dry eye treatment from eye surgeon Dr. Hester and his dry eye care team.
Learn more about dry eye from a compassionate ophthalmologist. Call Ralph Hester, MD, Ophthalmology at 405.271.9500. For your convenience, you can use our Request an Appointment form. Our dry eye patients come to us from El Reno, Mustang, Norman, Yukon, Piedmont, Bethany and Edmond.