Your tears play an important role in maintaining your visual health and comfort. They keep your eyes lubricated and free from foreign matter. Irregularities with their quantity or consistency, however, may lead to dry eye disease. Your expert eye doctor from NOVA Vision Center talks about this condition in detail.
How It Happens
Tears are a combination of oil, mucus, and water. This combination ensures their even distribution within your eyes. If any of these layers are produced in inadequate amounts or with incorrect composition, you may have dry eyes. This condition is more common among older individuals, particularly women going through menopause. Staying in arid climates, cigarette smoking, and wearing contact lenses for too long may also result in this problem.
Your eyes may turn red, itchy, and watery when they are dry. You may also complain of a sandy or gritty sensation as if something is lodged in your eye. Most of the time, you may feel a burning or stinging sensation as well. Your eyes may get easily tired, too, reducing your tolerance to visually demanding activities. If you notice any of these, we suggest visiting your reliable optometrist as soon as possible.
Diagnosis and Management
We’ll first perform a comprehensive eye exam to evaluate your current eye health. Since dry eye treatment is largely dependent on its root cause, we may also ask some questions to identify how this condition developed. We may also use our advanced technologies to measure your tear production rate and quality.
If wearing contact lenses, for example, causes your eyes to dry up, we may recommend using a lubricating lens solution. We may also suggest wearing contact lenses with built-in water reservoir, which helps maintain moisture in your eyes. We may advise applying warm compresses or artificial tear drops as well for your better eye comfort and health. For more severe cases, we may suggest inserting punctal plugs to prevent your tears from easily draining.
Call us today at (703) 291-0080, or complete our form to learn more about dry eyes. We serve Alexandria, Arlington, and nearby VA areas.