Are your eyes often burning or itching? Do people frequently comment that your eyes are red, or do you constantly feel like something is in your eye, but you can’t find the source of the irritation? If your answer to one or more of these questions is yes, then you may be suffering from dry eye, or dry eye syndrome. Read on for the facts about this eye condition.
Dry eye is an eye condition where the eyes’ tear ducts produce an insufficient quality or quantity of tears to adequately lubricate the eyes. It can also occur due to tears evaporating too quickly from the eyes. Tears are important for eye health, as the nutrients they contain support the health of the cells in the cornea. Tears also protect the exposed surface of the eye from infection, and clean and lubricate the eye in order to keep vision clear. Though dry eye is an eye condition that is usually benign, the physical discomfort it causes can make daily life uncomfortable.
Although dry eye syndrome should be diagnosed through a comprehensive eye exam by a trained ophthalmologist, here are some symptoms to look for:
Dry eye syndrome can have many causes, which is why it is important to see an ophthalmologist for a thorough exam in order to identify the cause and determine the proper treatment. It may occur due to the natural aging process, when tear production has slowed down (especially in women during menopause). It can also be caused by certain medications, including blood pressure medicines and oral contraceptives.
Other causes of dry eye include lifestyle habits such as wearing contact lenses long term, dealing with the drying effects of air conditioning and heat in a house or office, and staring at a computer screen for uninterrupted periods of time.
Though benign in and of itself, it should be noted that dry eye is also a symptom of diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, among others.
Are the above symptoms familiar to you? Find out if you are suffering from dry eye syndrome by scheduling an eye appointment with Dr. Belmont. Dr. Belmont can evaluate your overall eye health, including checking your eyes for dry eye syndrome, and provide the proper treatment to relieve you of any discomfort you’re experiencing. Schedule your appointment today by calling (212) 486-2020.