Today, I wanted to talk to you about dry eyes. It seems like we have had quite a few patients in the past couple of months come in because their eyes feel dry. Now, dry eyes are a condition where the eyes do not produce enough tears to sufficiently lubricate the eyes. If the eyes do not get enough lubrication the eyes may become irritated, itchy, and watery or you may feel a burning sensation. Having dry eyes can make it difficult to perform some activities such as reading or working on the computer for extended periods of time.
Should you be treated for dry eyes?
The only way of knowing whether or not you need dry eye treatment is by scheduling an appointment with your eye doctor. If your eye doctor finds abnormal tear production then treatment may be recommended.
How are dry eyes treated?
There are many different way to treat dry eyes depending on your specific needs. This may include supplementing your natural tears for artificial solutions that can be purchased over the counter. Your eye doctor may also prescribe medication to increase natural tear production. Another option might be to plug the drainage holes, which are the small openings at the inner corners of your eye where tears drain from your eyes to your nose. These plugs are inserted painlessly by an eye care professional.
There are some things you can do yourself to ensure healthy tear film. Increase your water intake. You want to consume roughly half of your body weight in ounces of water each day. Some supplements like Omega 3 (fish oil pills) can be taken as well, but please consult with your eye doctor if it is the right solution for you. Other simple measures you can take are wearing sunglasses when you are outside or using a humidifier in your home. Also, remember to blink while you are reading, using the computer or watching T.V for extended periods of time. We often blink less when we are doing these activities.
If you are experiencing dry eyes please schedule an appointment at one of our 4 convenient locations: Nashville, Hendersonville, Lafayette or Lebanon. Our eye doctors at OPMT will find the right treatment that fits your dry eye needs!