Tears are not just a sign that we have watched a sad movie (or even a happy one) or that we have been chopping onions. They are nature’s way of providing essential lubrication to our eyes. Basal tears, which are present all the time, protect our eyes, and help maintain our vision. Reflex tears wash away harmful irritants. When we don’t produce enough of them, we experience dry eyes and the burning, pain, redness, and fatigue that comes with this condition. While a common occurrence, there are steps you can take to alleviate dry eyes - starting with a visit to your trusted Asheville, North Carolina optometrist.
What Causes Dry Eyes?
The culprit behind dry eyes may be:
- An imbalance in your tear-flow system
- Your air conditioner or heater that dry your tear film
- Your computer screen
- Natural aging (and menopause)
- Medications (e.g. antihistamines)
- Conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or certain vascular diseases
Schedule a vision exam with Asheville Vision Associates to rule out any vision-related conditions and to get useful advice on treatments. These may include:
- Over the counter artificial tear drops and ointments.
- Prescription eye drops
- Punctal plugs
- Meibomian gland expression (a treatment where the glands are squeezed to release clogged contents)
Your vision specialist will also recommend steps you can take at home, such as blinking more frequently, taking regular breaks from your computer, changing and cleaning your contacts, wearing high-quality sunglasses, and applying warm compresses.
Dry eyes can be uncomfortable or even painful. The good news is that there are effective treatments and at-home remedies that can help provide relief.
Schedule an appointment with Asheville Vision Associates. Regular checks are essential in not only addressing issues like dry eye but maintaining optimal vision health.