Over three million people are diagnosed with dry eyes per year. If you experience prolonged red, irritated, or painful eyes, you may also have the condition. You don’t have to live with discomfort caused by dry eyes. Rajat Shetty, OD, at Astoria Park Eyecare in Ditmars, Astoria, offers diagnosis and treatment of dry eyes to patients of all ages. Find out if you have dry eyes by calling the New York City practice or using the online booking tool to schedule an appointment.
Dry eyes are a condition where your eyes don’t make enough tears for adequate lubrication, or the tears made are of poor-quality. Dry eyes are uncomfortable and may cause a burning or stinging sensation.
The symptoms of dry eyes usually affect both eyes and may include:
Dry eyes can be more than uncomfortable and can lead to complications. Because tears protect the eyes, having inadequate tears can lead to eye infections. If left untreated, severe dry eyes can lead to inflammation, scratching of the cornea, and long-term vision problems.
Environmental conditions can cause temporary dry eyes, including air-conditioning, airplane air, staring at a computer screen, or standing in the wind.
However, the primary cause of dry eyes is a lack of tears. The inadequate moisture is caused by keratoconjunctivitis sicca (decreased tear production), tear evaporation, or an imbalance in the chemical makeup of your tears.
Keratoconjunctivitis sicca is a condition in which your eyes do not produce enough tears. This happens as part of the natural aging process, as a result of certain medical conditions, medications, or tear gland damage.
The cause of dry eyes may involve increased evaporation of tears, which commonly occurs due to wind, smoke, or dry air. You may also experience increased tear evaporation if you blink less frequently, such as when working in front of a computer or when reading a book.
Tears are a mixture of oil, mucus, and water. Dry eyes may occur if the chemical makeup of tears is out of balance.
If you experience mild dry eye symptoms, for some over-the-counter eye drops are sufficient to replenish the moisture in your eyes.
If you have chronic dry eyes or severe symptoms, the providers at Astoria Park Eyecare look at treating the underlying cause. Treatments can improve the quality of tears or prevent tear evaporation. Potential treatment options include:
To diagnose and treat dry eye symptoms with a customized treatment for your situation, schedule an appointment online or call Astoria Park Eyecare.