If you have been experiencing the feelings of dry, scratchy eyes, you will most likely need to make a trip to your eye doctor for an analysis. Dry eyes can occur from a few different sources, and getting an evaluation will help determine if it is something you can handle on your own or if medical interaction would be necessary. Here is some general information about dry eyes, including some of the reasons why you may be experiencing them and some solutions to use for relief.
How Will My Eye Doctor Test My Eyes?
When you go to your eye doctor to have your eyes checked, they may give you a test to see how well your eyes will create tears so they can determine the volume your eyes normally produce. The eye doctor will place a tiny piece of filter paper underneath your lower lid to measure the moisture level in your eye. The results of this test will help your doctor decide what method to use for relief.
What Causes Dry Eyes?
There are glands inside your eyes that work hard to produce oils which produce tears when conditions make your eyes feel dry. If there is an underlying condition that causes these glands to not work properly, the oils are not created as quickly, making tears harder to produce as a result.
Several outside sources can also cause you to feel the scratchiness of dry eyes. Allergies, side effects of medication, dry atmosphere, air conditioning, aging, excessive computer use, symptoms from underlying diseases, and contact lens wearing can all be reasons that contribute to dry eyes.
What Treatments Are Available?
If your eye doctor finds that you are making less tears than you should, you will most likely be prescribed eye drops to help increase tear production. Some of these medications will also help reduce inflammation in the eyes to help with natural tear production. These artificial tears will help take away any pain and itchiness in the eyes. Another treatment is the insertion of small tubules underneath the lower lid, which will release moisture into your eyes throughout the day.
You may be a candidate for an in-office procedure which helps to reduce the blockage of the glands that produce the oils in your eyes. This procedure uses a special eyepiece that pulsates and adds heat to the glands that produce tears. This often clears up the blockage that causes your eyes to stop making tears at a normal rate. For more information, talk to an eye doctor like Atlantic Ophthalmology.