All You Should Know About Dry Eye Treatment
Eyecare is one of the most important healthcare practices. When your eyes are not at their best, it is hard to get anything done. There should, therefore, be no traces of guilt for visiting an optometrist in Calgary anytime you are shaky about the health of your eyes. Anything can go wrong at any given point, and with eyes, the problems escalate very fast.
What Is Dry Eye?
It is a chronic disorder of the eyes that is often progressive. The condition can be explained as a situation where a patient does not have enough tears to keep the eyeball lubricated and nourished. Most people are not aware that tears play an important role in sustaining the health of the front part of the eye. Given that it is often exposed to the atmosphere, tears protect the eye from a foreign object, nourish it with necessary nutrients as well as lubricate it. Ideally, the movements of your eyes are enabled by the tears acting as lubricants. When the quality and quantity of your tears go down, the health of your eyes deteriorate. This is known as dry eye syndrome. At this point, you should seriously be considering Calgary dry eye care services, before the symptoms worsen.
What causes dry eyes?
There are different reasons why patients have dry eyes. Mostly, it is because the amount of tear production reduces, or the quality of the tears is compromised. Some of the reasons for dry eyes include the following:
- Age – aging introduces very different phenomena in the body. Generally, the production of different fluids in the body, in this case, tears, diminishes with age. Most people of 65 years and above have symptoms of dry eyes, some milder than others.
- Hormonal imbalances – more women suffer from dry eyes because of hormonal changes through different stages of their lives.
- Medication – Some medications will do more than resist illnesses and infections. They can have side effects of lowering the quality and quantity of tears. Examples include antidepressants, decongestants antihistamines, to mention a few.
- Medical conditions – some diseases affect the whole system of the body, causing various changes. Such conditions include blood pressure issues, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Environmental triggers – exposure to certain things in the environment can dry out your eyes and introduce symptoms of the dry eye condition. Extreme exposure to smoke, dry climates, winds, among others, facilitate tear evaporation causing dry eyes.
- Eye treatments – different eye treatments can introduce other challenges in your eyes for example, patients who have used contact lenses for a long time have trouble with tear production.
- Genetic factors – if it runs in your family, then it is more likely to catch up with you as you grow up.
Treatment Options for Dry Eyes
Depending on what the cause of your eye condition is, the treatment options will vary. The most important part of your treatment is the diagnosis. A thorough eye exam is necessary to help identify the underlying cause of your dry eyes. In most cases, treating the underlying problem causing a shortage in tear production is the best way to treat the eye condition. Other than that, other treatment options include the following:
- Artificial tears – or otherwise, lubricating eye drops. They are used for the mild cases of dry eye for example if the nature of your job exposes you eye strains that result in dry eye, frequent use of the lubricating eye drops will help restore the health of your eyes.
- Anti-inflammatory drugs for the eyes – sometimes, an inflammation on the edges of your eyelids can be causing the problem. They stand in the way of your oil glands secreting oil into your tears. This means the quality of your tears is highly compromised. With some drugs to reduce the inflammation, your eyes should be back to normal.
- Tear-stimulating drugs – these drugs help increase the production of tears in the eyes. The drugs are called cholinergic. They can be used in the form of pills, gels, or even eye drops.
- Contact lenses – while these lenses can cause dry eyes, some are specially designed for people with dry eyes.
- Eye masks – eye masks and warm compresses have been used as ways to unblock the oil glands to help improve the quality of tears.