Dry eye is a common condition that develops when your eyes do not produce enough tears to keep them lubricated. While dry eye in Brunswick, Jesup, and St. Marys, Georgia is frustrating and uncomfortable, it is also easy to treat.
The Process of Tear Production
Your eyes contain a film created by a small gland near each eye. The film contains aqueous fluid, fatty oils, and mucus. The eyes normally produce all three substances to ensure that your eye surfaces remain lubricated. Dry eyes occur when the glands fail to produce any of the substances. Common reasons for this interruption include:
- Autoimmune disease
- Decreased or increased tear production
- Hormonal changes
- Inflamed eyelid glands
Aging, the use of certain medications, and having certain medical conditions are the most common reasons for decreased tear production. You could have also acquired corneal nerve sensitivity due to contact lens use or laser eyelid surgery. Fortunately, decreased tear production after laser eyelid surgery is temporary. People with increased tear production may have vitamin A deficiency, blink less often than other people, allergies, or structural problems with the eyelids.
Some people with dry eyes go on to develop eye infections or permanent damage to the surface of their eyes. Making specific lifestyle changes is your first line of defense when it comes to eliminating the problem of dry eyes.
How to Prevent Dry Eyes
Here are some commonsense steps you can take to treat or prevent dry eyes:
- Use artificial tears daily if you have a history of dry eyes.
- Stop smoking if you are a smoker and avoid contact with secondhand smoke.
- Position your computer screen below eye level. Taking this step keeps you from opening your eyes widely and slows the evaporation of natural tears between blinks.
- Take a break from reading, computer use, or anything else that forces you to focus your eyes for long periods.
- Wear wraparound sunglasses outdoors.
- Do not blow air into your eyes with a hair dryer, car heater, or any other source that produces hot or cold air.
- Use a humidifier in the winter to increase moisture in the air.
If you continue to struggle with dry eyes, please contact our eye clinic in Brunswick, Jesup, or St. Marys, Georgia to schedule an appointment and learn more about our treatment options.