Austin Optometrist Answers FAQ's About Dry Eye Causes and Treatments
Dry eye is a serious matter -- but how much do you know about this irritating condition? Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about dry eye causes and treatments from Austin Vision Center.
What is dry eye?
Dry eye is a condition in which the eye cannot remain properly hydrated. It usually occurs due to inadequate tear production or an unbalanced tear composition.
What is the tear film?
The tear film is three-layered film that normally covers the eye every time you blink. It consists of a mucous layer, a water layer and an oil layer.
Why does tear composition matter so much?
The mucous layer helps the water adhere to the eye surface, while the oil layer prevents the water from simply evaporating. If any of these elements are out of balance, your eyes will dry out.
What are some common dry eye causes?
Age is the most common reason, as the tear ducts naturally become less productive. Diseases such as Sjogren's syndrome can also cause dry eye, along with certain medications. Blockage of the eyelid's meibomian glands can interfere with oil production. Wind can cause tears to evaporate too quickly. Constant computer use, during which the eye "forgets" to blink normally, is an occupational cause of dry eye.
Why is dry eye a serious concern?
Untreated dry eye not only causes chronic redness, itching and blurred vision; it also threatens your ocular health. The unprotected corneas may experience damage, disease and eventual ulceration.
How does my eye doctor in Austin diagnose dry eye?
Your eye doctor in Austin, Dr. Hutson or Dr. Tran, will ask you about your symptoms, age, current medications and underlying health conditions. Specialized tests of your tear production and tear film composition can then confirm the nature of your dry eye, at which point your Austin optometrist can begin prescribing the appropriate dry eye treatment.
What forms of dry eye treatment can you provide?
Eye drops can prove extremely helpful for dry eye related to age or other irreversible situations. These eye drops may take the form of artificial tears or a thicker, gel-based product to be used overnight. Your Austin optometrist may also advise you to ask your doctor about changing medications or controlling an underlying ailment. Blocked meibomian glands can often be opened up to improve tear film balance.
What types of preventative eye care can help me avoid or minimize dry eye?
If your dry eye is worsened by wind, we may recommend that you avoid ceiling fans and wear protective eyewear on windy days. You may also need to take more frequent computer breaks so your eyes can rehydrate themselves.
Schedule Dry Eye Care From Your Optometrist in Austin
Now that you know more about dry eye, you know how important it is to get it treated. Call Austin Vision Center at (512) 477-2282 to schedule dry eye care from your optometrist in Austin!