Dry eye is an uncomfortable condition that can lead to blurry vision, stinging and burning sensations, red and irritated eyes, and more. When it comes to treating such conditions, knowledge empowers you to make a difference. That’s why our team at Arvada Optometric Center has put together this quick guide to dry eye causes and treatment options.
What Does It Mean to Have Dry Eyes?
Dry eyes are basically what they sound like – eyes that don’t produce enough quality tears to stay lubricated. However, there is more than one way in which this can happen. The first is that your eyes simply don’t produce enough tears. Both age and certain types of medication can cause this. However, your environment can also play an important role. For example, if you live in a very dry or windy climate, tears can often evaporate before they fully lubricate the eyes.
Another contributor to dry eyes is that the tears you do produce do not contain all of the components you need for proper lubrication. Tears aren’t just water – they also include oil and mucus. The oil protects the water from evaporation, and the mucus helps to spread the tears over the eye.
When all of these components are present, the eyes stay lubricated. However, if any of them are missing or in short supply, your tears either evaporate before they can be utilized, or they do not cover the entire eye.
Types of Dry Eye Treatment
Dry eye treatment depends on the cause of your condition. If your dry eye condition is due to not producing enough tears and is mild, over-the-counter eye drops are typically recommended. For moderate to severe cases, your optometrist will likely prescribe eye drops.
When your dry eye symptoms are due to a lack of oil in your tears, you might require LipiFlow or Intense Pulsed Light Therapy (IPL). LipiFlow is a treatment that uses thermal pulsation to address the meibomian glands. These glands are responsible for producing the oil your tears need, but they can sometimes become blocked. LipiFlow is an effective way to help treat these blockages, allowing your eyes to produce oil effectively.
Intense Pulsed Light Therapy (IPL) is another method of releasing blockages of the meibomian glands. The big difference between these two treatments is that LipiFlow works outside of the eye area, while IPL works within the eye area. Though both are very effective, the treatment you need will depend on your specific condition, symptoms, and other factors.
Visit Our Optometrists in Arvada, CO
If you experience dry eye symptoms, our team at Arvada Optometric Center can help you find relief. Call (303) 578-2982 to schedule an appointment today.