Dry eyes occur when your tear system is not working properly. Tears are an incredible substance made up of oils, water, mucus, and antibodies that help keep your eyes lubricated and comfortable. When you are not getting enough tears your eyes can be red, feel itchy, or your vision may be blurred. Let’s discuss what causes dry eyes in the first place and how to treat them.
Dry eyes may be due to the natural process of aging, like menopause. Certain drugs like antihistamines may create specific side effects that result in dry eyes. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, collagen vascular disease, or Sjogren’s syndrome your body may not be able to produce tears normally. In addition, if you have issues that don’t allow your eyelids to close properly, you may develop dry eyes.
There are several treatments available for dry eyes, depending on your individual situation. Artificial tear drops and ointments are the most common way to treat dry eyes. There are a variety of types available over the counter. If this is the route your eye doctor suggests, you may need to try more than one brand to determine what feels just right to your eyes.
Temporary punctul occlusion is used to close the duct that drains tears from your eyes. The plug is designed to dissolve over time, or in some cases permanent plugs may be used. Cautery is also an option, which involves burning the opening shut. The resulting scar will make a permanent plug. Other options include lipiflow, testosterone cream, lifitegrast, and others. Adding omega-3 or fish oil to your diet may also assist in treating dry eyes. A warm compress may be helpful for inflamed and flaky eyelids by alleviating irritation and loosening the clogged glands.