Chronic Dry Eye FAQs
Dry eye occurs when there is inadequate lubrication or moisture on the eye’s surface. This may happen for a number of reasons, such as environmental factors, lifestyle choices, work conditions, certain medications or some illnesses. When it constantly reoccurs or becomes a consistent problem, then it is known as chronic dry eye. Here are some FAQs to address some of the pressing questions you may have.
Many underlying factors contribute to dry eye episodes or the ongoing problem.
What diseases cause dry eyes?
Chronic dry eyes may often result from not just the disease itself but also the medications used to treat it. That said, here is a list of just some of the many diseases commonly associated with chronic dry eye:
- Seasonal allergies
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Diseases involving the thyroid
What medications cause dry eye?
Birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, antidepressants and even acne medication may result in dry eyes. Check the side effects or warnings for medication to see which ones may be the culprit.
What work conditions cause chronic dry eye?
Staring at a computer, tablet or phone screen for long hours without blinking may cause chronic dry eyes. Because of this, writers, producers, gamers, programmers and corporate workers tend to be easily affected. That said, environmental factors such as smoke, wind and dry air may also lead to chronic dry eyes for blue collar workers.
Does age have anything to do with it?
Yes, the older people become, the fewer tears the eye produces. This may leave the eye’s surface exposed, leading to discomfort. Age is also the most common cause for dry eyes.
The treatment options
Luckily, there are a wide variety of options available to treat chronic dry eye problems. Some of these can be self-administered without medical attention, while others may require a prescription. Here are the answers to some important questions about treatment options.
What are some good home remedies or over-the-counter options?
It depends on the underlying reason. Patients who know the source of the dryness may make changes based on this, such as spending less time in front of the computer or changing medications. Artificial tear drops may also provide relief, while some people say cold and hot presses over the eyes work wonders.
How do doctors diagnose dry eyes?
Some doctors may make a diagnosis based on a patient’s described symptoms and the appearance of the eyes. Other times, doctors may use special blotting strips for a more accurate diagnosis. This measures the volume of tears a person produces over a period of time, usually five minutes.
What can a doctor do to treat chronic dry eye?
After a positive test, doctors may prescribe a number of solutions. The three most effective include eye inserts, scleral lenses and punctal plugs.
Get help today
While not usually considered a serious illness, chronic dry eyes may lead to serious problems later on. Sometimes the cornea becomes damaged from the inadequate moisture, which could lead to ulcerations. In addition to this, many people suffer discomfort so terrible that it affects their work and even the ability to drive safely or operate machinery. If you suffer from dry eye symptoms, get help today.
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