Your tears keep your eyes comfortable and healthy. Tears not only keep your eyes moisturized, but they also help wash away debris and maintain your clear vision. If your eyes fail to produce enough tears, or produce tears of bad quality, you may develop dry eyes.
Read on as your trusted eye doctor from Vienna Eyecare Center explains how this condition happens.
Common Causes and Risk Factors
Tears have three layers. The outer lipid region prevents tears from evaporating quickly, while the middle aqueous section nourishes your cornea and conjunctiva. Lastly, the inner mucus layer binds water to keep your eyes lubricated. Any imbalance to this composition may lead to dry eyes.
Your eye care specialist explains that dry eyes may also occur due to insufficient tears or tears that evaporate too quickly. This is a common problem among older individuals, particularly postmenopausal women. People who live in dry climates are also more prone to developing dry eyes, as are smokers.
Without enough tears, your eyes may become irritated and red. They may also feel gritty or scratchy, like something is stuck in them. A burning or stinging feeling is common as well. You may have increased glare sensitivity and reduced tolerance to doing close-range work or other visually demanding tasks. You may struggle to insert and remove your contact lenses as well.
Effective Dry Eye Solutions
Your optometrist may suggest artificial tears to manage your dry eyes. These eye drops have a similar composition to that of your natural tears. Applying a warm compress to your eyes and massaging them regularly can also stimulate tear production in your eyes. If symptoms persist, we may recommend blocking your tear ducts with punctal plugs. Doing so can conserve your tears, preventing them from evaporating too quickly.
For more information about dry eyes, call us today at (703) 688-7003. You may also fill out our contact form to request an appointment. We serve Fairfax, VA, and nearby areas.