Even on our happiest days, our eyes are full of tears. Tears are essential to providing the moisture, lubrication, antibodies, and proteins needed for healthy and comfortable eyes. Tears are incredible! So what happens when we aren’t getting enough of them? Dry eye. Dry eye is an irritating condition that makes your eyes itchy, red, blurry, gritty, and sensitive. Let’s discuss the causes and treatments for dealing with dry eye and what you can do about it right now.
Dry eye can be caused by a variety of conditions. If you’ve had a severe eye injury, you may have also injured your tear duct. Maybe you had an eye or eyelid surgery that made it, so your eyelid won’t fully close, creating an increased feeling of dryness. For others, the side effects of drugs like antihistamines may be the culprit. Even environmental factors like pollution, climate, and heater or air conditioning settings can play a role. For others, the dry eye could be connected to a deeper problem like rheumatoid arthritis, collagen vascular disease, or Sjogren’s Syndrom.
Artificial tear drops or ointments are the most common method for addressing dry eye irritation. You may need to try more than one brand to see what suits your eyes the best. If you have the chronic dry eye, you will likely need to use an ointment at night.
Temporary punctal occlusion may be used to close the duct that drains tears from the eyes. Temporary plugs will likely be tried first. If that doesn’t work, permanent plugs will be inserted.
Your doctor may choose to use a procedure called cautery to permanently close the tear duct opening. The resulting scar acts as a plug. During the procedure, you will be given a drug to relax you. Other treatment methods and medications for dry eye include Lipiflow, testosterone cream, cyclosporine, or Lifitegrast.
Arrange an eye appointment
If you suffer from dry eye, don’t hesitate to call our office today to schedule a consultation. Dr. Sondheimer and our team look forward to addressing your eye related needs and helping you live pain-free. You can contact us at Skokie, IL (847-677-2794), Deerfield, IL (847-677-2794) and Park Ridge, IL (847-696-7643)