The Causes of Dry Eye and How it Can be Treated | Carter Eye Center

The Causes of Dry Eye and How it Can be Treated


Do your eyes sting, burn, feel sensitive, appear red, itch, and/or suffer from blurred vision? If you suffer from one or more these eye afflictions, then you might be suffering from having dry eyes. Mild cases of dry eye can be treated using conventional methods, but if the condition persists medical treatment or, in rare cases, surgery might be necessary.

Man Rubbing His Eye

Eye drops are a great conventional method of treating mild cases of dry eye, but not all eye drops will help to alleviate symptoms of dryness and in fact, some eye drops might even make conditions worsen. When you are shopping for eye drops to treat symptoms of dry eye, make sure to avoid eye drops that claim to reduce eye redness, as these might cause an increase in eye dryness or potentially lead to painful inflammation of the eye. So what causes dry eye?

Tears consist of a complex mixture of water, fatty oils, and mucus—three essential elements your eyes need to remain healthy—divided up into three delicate layers. Each of these layers is important in the health of the eye, but individually they can cause dryness. The layer in the middle is made up of what is essentially a mild form of salt water produced by the lacrimal glands. Getting salt water in your eyes is never a great experience, so it is important that there is enough mucous and oil in the tear to offset the salt water and alternatively, if there isn’t enough salt water and the mucus and oil layers rub against each other it can produce a painful discharge.

Your eyes can get dry when they suffer from a deficiency or imbalance of this essential mixture. Dry eye can also be attributed to a number of other things:

  • Adverse side effects from medications
  • Undergoing menopause
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Vitamin A or omega-3 fatty acid deficiency
  • Age

Generally, dry eyes don’t become lead serious complications, but the affliction should be taken seriously and treated appropriately. Those who suffer from dry eyes are more vulnerable to infection, scarring of the cornea, and a generally decreased quality of life. If you are regularly dealing with symptoms of dry eye you should consult your eye doctor about your recurring symptoms as you might need medical treatment.

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