When your eyes do not produce enough tears, it is called dry eye. Dry eye is also when your eyes do not produce the right type of tears.

Disease Symptoms:

Here are some of the symptoms of dry eye:

  • You feel like your eyes are stinging and burning
  • There is a scratchy or gritty feeling like something is in your eye
  • There are strings of mucus or pus in or around your eyes
  • Your eyes are red or irritated. This is especially true when you are in the wind or near cigarette smoke
  • It is painful to wear contact lenses
  • You have lots of tears in your eyes

Disease Causes:

Both men and women can develop dry eye; however, it is more common in women who have gone through menopause. More specific causes include:

  • certain diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disease, and lupus
  • Blepharitis (when eyelids are swollen or red)
  • Entropion (when eyelids turn in); ectropion (eyelids turn outward)
  • Being in smoke, wind or a very dry climate
  • Looking at a computer for a long time (reduced blinking)
  • Using contact lenses for a long time
  • Having refractive eye surgery, such as LASIK
  • Using some eye drops and artificial tears with preservatives
  • Taking certain medicines, such as:
    • Diuretics (water pills) for high blood pressure
    • Beta-blockers, for heart problems or high blood pressure
    • Allergy medicines (antihistamines)
    • Sleeping pills
    • Anxiety medicines

Adding tears:

Your ophthalmologist might tell you to use artificial tears. These are eye drops that are like your own tears.

Conserving tears:

Your ophthalmologist may suggest blocking your tear ducts. This makes your natural tears stay in your eyes longer.

Increasing your tears:

Your ophthalmologist might have you use a special eye drop medication. This helps your eyes make more of their own tears.

Treating dry eye culprits:

If your eyes are irritated and swollen, your ophthalmologist can treat those problems. They may recommend:

  • prescription eye drops or ointments
  • warm compresses on the eyes
  • massaging your eyelids
  • certain eyelid cleaner

Call to schedule an appointment today 1-800-575-4314.