Spotlight: Dry Eyes

15-02-2010 by Staff

Dry eyes are a common condition. Healthy eyes are always covered by fluid, but when the eye doesn’t make enough tears, dry eyes can result.

Common symptoms of dry eyes are:

  • A burning or scratchy feeling in your eyes
  • Eye irritation and tearing
  • Feeling as if your eyes are tired
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Problems wearing contact lenses
  • Blurred vision that can get worse at the end of the day or after doing the same task for a long time

Common causes of dry eyes include:

  • The natural aging process
  • Side effects of certain medicines, such as antihistamines
  • Exposure to sun, wind or a dry environment
  • Exposure to smoke
  • Diseases that affect your ability to make tears, such as Sjogren’s syndrome or rheumatoid arthritis
  • Structural problems within the eyes

The good news is that effective treatment is available. It starts with a careful examination to determine what may be causing your symptoms. The goal of treatment is to keep your eyes moist.

Some people find that over-the-counter lubricating drops are helpful. In other cases, prescription medication can significantly help symptoms. If the dryness is caused by a structural problem within the eye, surgery can correct the problem.

Here are some things you can do yourself to help treat dry eyes:

  • Avoid air blowing in your eyes from hair dryers, car heaters, air conditioners or fans
  • Wear glasses on windy days
  • Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air
  • Avoid rubbing your eyes
  • Avoid smoky areas
  • Blink repeatedly, especially when doing something that requires intense visual concentration, to help spread your own tears more evenly
  • When concentrating visually on a task for a long time, rest your eyes periodically by closing them

Most people with dry eyes don’t experience any long-term complications. However, if left untreated, severe dry eyes may lead to eye inflammation, infection and even scarring of the cornea.

If dry eyes are a problem for you, we invite you to schedule an appointment by calling 860-644-5011.

Contact Us

Richard Manganiello, MD
479 Buckland Rd
South Windsor, CT 06074