What You Should Know About Dry Eye Syndrome

If you struggle with eyes that are constantly dry, red, or itchy, you might be suffering from dry eye syndrome. This is not a serious eye condition, but one that may require an eye exam in order to determine the root cause. Here are some things to know about dry eye syndrome.

There Are a Variety of Causes

First of all, like many conditions of the eye, there isn't just one single thing that causes dry eye syndrome. You can get it whether or not you are physically healthy and can get it simply from hormonal changes or the environment you are in. Many people have acute dry eye syndrome, where it only occurs due to sun exposure or being in an especially dry environment. Other people have it chronically, where it lasts or keeps returning. Some other possible causes of this condition include having an autoimmune disorder, smoking cigarettes, taking certain medications, or having had eye surgery in the past.

You May Have Other Symptoms

You should also be aware of the potential symptoms and side effects, since having dry eyes is not the only symptom in most cases. With dry eye syndrome, you might have itchy eyes, eyes that start to get red, or feet uncomfortable. With excessive dryness, the eyes can start to burn since moisture is needed to keep the eyes healthy. You might also have a scratchy feeling in the eyes that doesn't seem to go away, blurry vision, or extra sensitivity to light. Many of these symptoms are also common with allergies, so it may take narrowing down your symptoms to determine if it is dry eye syndrome or simply from allergies.

Treatment Requires a Visit to Your Optometrist

While you can use artificial tears for dry eyes, if you keep getting the condition even with the artificial tears, you should consider visiting your optometrist. They will run some tests and give you a physical exam to determine if there is another cause for it. It is possible that you need to change your environment or that a medicine you take daily is causing the condition. Some tests you might have include measuring your tear production, a visual acuity measurement, and measuring your concentration of tears. The eye doctor wants to figure out if your eyelids or a chronic illness is causing the dry eyes so that can be treated. Some possible treatments include prescription eye drops to return moisture to your eyes and treating the conditions leading to the dry eyes.