What Everyone Should Know About Dry Eyes

Dry eyes can cause significant discomfort. Dry eyes can also make your eyes look red, which can be frustrating. Some people experience dry eyes seasonally, while others may experience dry eyes year-round. Understanding what causes dry eyes and how to treat them can help you manage this frustrating condition. Working with your eye doctor in the Pittsburgh area can help. Here’s what to know.

Dry Eye Causes

Dry eyes can be caused by certain medical conditions, certain medications and even by aging. Dry eyes are exacerbated by conditions in the environment like low humidity, staring into the wind and using the computer for long stretches.

How to Treat Dry Eyes

The best way to treat your dry eyes is to first see an eye doctor. Your eye doctor can determine whether your dry eyes are a chronic problem or the result of something temporary, like a medication that you’re currently taking. Your eye doctor can also determine the best course of action to treat your dry eyes.

In addition, there are many small changes you can make to your environment and behaviors that will help with dry eyes. For example:

  • Don’t blow dryers on high heat – turn the dryer to a low temperature and low setting
  • Use a humidifier in your home, especially at times of year when the humidity outside is very low
  • Use artificial tears

If your dry eyes are severe enough, your eye doctor may recommend prescription artificial tears. Medication can help your eyes stay moist enough to improve your comfort.

Dry eyes are a problem if you want to wear contact lenses, because moisture can stop infections. Get your dry eyes treated if you want to wear contacts in the Pittsburgh area. Call Lappen Eye Care for more information.

When to See an Optometrist for Dry Eye

Dry eyes can be uncomfortable and make it difficult for you to get your work done. The condition can also arise from a variety of causes, including environmental concerns, underlying health problems, or as a side effect of medication.

Regardless of the cause, dry eye typically presents several symptoms to alert you to its presence. You do not always need to see an optometrist in Pittsburgh, PA, but it is important to know when you should.

Common Dry Eye Symptoms

The following are the most typical symptoms that patients with dry eye report to us at Lappen Eye Care:

  • Blurry vision
  • Burning or stinging sensations
  • Difficulty driving at night
  • Difficulty producing tears
  • Difficulty wearing contacts
  • Discomfort after looking at a phone or computer screen for a short time
  • Eye redness
  • Heavy eyelids
  • Itchy eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Watery eyes

Some people can manage these symptoms on their own with simple solutions, such as using artificial tears a few times a day and reducing screen time. Others continue to struggle even after implementing several home remedies. In that situation, patients may need more intensive medical eye care in Pittsburgh, PA.

When Should You Schedule an Optometry Appointment?

Be sure to schedule an appointment with Lappen Eye Care if your dry eye symptoms are not going away after more than a week of using artificial tears or other interventions. We should also see you if you cannot figure out what is causing your eye dryness. Leaving the problem untreated could lead to problems such as prolonged eye pain, eye ulcers, or scars on the surface of your eyes.

Our optometrists always attempt the least invasive treatment method first. One example is using prescription eye drops instead of eye drops you buy at the store. We will explain all available treatment options after diagnosing your dry eye condition.