Staring at a screen, smoking, sitting near an air conditioner, and even being outside on windy days can all cause your eyes to feel dry and scratchy. Although OTC eye drops can usually alleviate the sensation, persistently dry eyes can be a symptom of a more serious problem. If you frequently find yourself rubbing at your eyes or feeling like they are being scratched by fine grit, it might be time to consult with an optometrist to diagnose the issue.
Harlem VistaSite Eye Care in New York City provides a full range of eye care services, including solutions for persistent, recurring, or chronic dry eyes. Ask us what we can do to help you manage your condition!
What causes dry eyes
Dry eye syndrome can usually be traced back to one problem: inadequate tears. This occurs when your eyes aren’t producing the necessary amount of tears, or your tears are of poor quality. Fortunately, there are options for all types of tear issues, from insufficiency to low quality.
Your tears consist of three components: water to provide moisture, oil to provide coverage, and mucus to retain moisture. Unbalanced tears might fail to cover the eye properly or evaporate too quickly, leading to dry eye syndrome. One common cause of inadequate tears is Meibomian gland dysfunction, which clogs the oil-secreting glands on your eyelids.
Certain factors can also put you at risk for dry eye syndrome, including:
- Lots of screentime
- Dry, windy environment
- Growing older
- Hormonal changes like pregnancy or menopause
- Using contact lenses
Treatment options for dry eyes
Dry eye syndrome can be more than irritating; it can actually cause surface damage to your eyes. The constant rubbing, friction, and dryness can lead to inflammation and corneal abrasions, which will only worsen the problem. If OTC eye drops aren’t helping your dry eyes, it might be time to visit a specialist.
At Harlem VistaSite Eye Care, our team can narrow down exactly what’s causing your dry eyes and come up with a treatment plan that works for you. It might take a few attempts to find the perfect solutions for your eyes, but it will be worth it!
We usually begin with conservative options like prescription eye drops, warm compresses, and eye cleaners to help improve tear production. If damage has already been done, we can also recommend amniotic membrane treatments to help heal your eyes.
To learn more about your treatment options, schedule a consultation by calling 646-453-6506, or book an appointment online.