Does the Risk of Dry Eye Syndrome Increase With Age?

Aging brings with it some challenging eye conditions, including an increased risk of developing dry eye syndrome. If you live near Pittsburgh, Greensburg, South Hills or McMurray, PA dry eye syndrome can be diagnosed and treated at your eye doctor’s office. Learn more about dry eye syndrome and why the risk increases over time.

What is Dry Eye Syndrome?

Dry eye syndrome or simply “dry eyes” is a condition where there is insufficient lubrication of the eyes, resulting in discomfort, pain or even damage to the eyes.

Why Does the Risk of Dry Eye Syndrome Increase With Age?

There are a number of reasons why older people are more likely to develop dry eyes.

Reduced Tear Production

As you get older, the tear glands in your eyes may naturally generate fewer tears, which results in a reduced amount of lubrication on the surface of the eye.

Changes in the Quality of Tears

With age, the composition of tears often changes, which can make them less effective in lubricating the eyes.

Hormonal Changes

Changes in hormone levels as a natural consequence of aging can have an impact on both the quantity and quality of tears produced.

Prescription Medications

Certain medications that are widely provided to older persons, such as antihistamines, antidepressants, and blood pressure medications, can produce dry eyes as a side effect.

Underlying Health Issues

Some medical illnesses, such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and thyroid disorders, are associated with an increased incidence of dry eye syndrome in older persons.

These natural changes that occur during the aging process can all influence the health of the eyes. This is why it’s so important to get regular eye exams from your eye doctor in Pittsburgh, PA and surrounding areas. Contact us today to book your next appointment.

What Can I Do To Treat Dry Eye This Winter?

Dry eye can make life uncomfortable while at the same time impacting the way you see. Many people experience dry eyes in winter, when the environment outside gets dry and cold. Fortunately, there are things you can do to treat dry eye. It’s important to be aware of your options. At Lappen Eye Care, we can help. In addition to providing eye exams in the Pittsburgh area, we can offer dry eye treatment. Below are some things you can do about dry eye this winter.

Humidify the Environment

Eyes become dry when the air is dry. You can improve your dry eye symptoms by humidifying the house where you live. Use a humidifier in the rooms of your home where you spend the most time. You can also install a whole-home humidifier to create a more humid environment all around.

Use Eye Drops

Over the counter eye drops are made from a safe saline solution that mimics your body’s natural tears. Use eye drops throughout the day to keep your eyes moist and make up for any lack of natural tears that might be making your eyes feel red and itchy.

Protect Your Eyes

Use sunglasses with wrap around protection to protect your eyes from harsh, dry winds. This is especially important if you’ll be spending a significant amount of time outside, but you should use your sunglasses even for short periods.

See the Eye Doctor

If none of this helps, there could be underlying reasons why you’re experiencing dry eye. To find out what might be the cause, see your eye doctor in the Pittsburgh area. Contact Lappen Eye Center for an appointment to discuss your symptoms and find solutions.

Fall Is Here! Watch Out for Dry Eye

Dry eye is a problem that can affect people at all times of the year, but when the humidity outside begins to drop, many people begin to experience this problem more than normal.

As your eye doctor in the Pittsburgh area, the professionals at Lappen Eye Care can help. Knowing the symptoms of dry eye, the causes and what you can do about it can help you take care of your eyes.

Symptoms of Dry Eye

There are many symptoms of dry eye, and some of those symptoms can seem similar to other symptoms of other conditions. To find out for sure what’s affecting you, talk to your eye doctor. Symptoms include:

  • Scratchy or burning sensation in the eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Redness in the eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Eye fatigue
  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • Watery eyes

Causes of Dry Eye

There are many things that can cause dry eye including medications, hormone changes, changes in tear production and allergies.

What to Do About Dry Eye

If you suffer from dry eye, your eye doctor may recommend prescription eye drops to help keep your eyes properly moistened. In addition, there are many things you can do to lessen the effects of dry eye.

  • Avoid using hair dryers or keep the air flow low
  • Humidify the air in your home
  • Wear wrap around sunglasses
  • Blink your eyes more frequently in dry environments
  • Avoid smoky environments

Need Dry Eye Treatment? Contact Your Eye Doctor in the Pittsburgh Area

Dry eye can be a problem, especially if you wear contact lenses. If you suffer from dry eye, seek dry eye treatment in the Pittsburgh area. Contact Lappen Eye Care today to make an appointment to see our eye doctor.

Can Dry Eye Worsen As the Days Turn Colder?

Winter is challenging in many ways, but for those who struggle with a condition known as dry eye, it can be especially uncomfortable. If you notice your symptoms of dry eye worsening as fall turns into winter, your optometrist in Pittsburgh, PA, has solutions.

What Is Dry Eye?

Dry eye is a condition that occurs because your body can’t produce enough tears to keep your eyes comfortably lubricated. There may be many reasons why someone may experience the symptoms of dry eye, including:

  • Dehydration
  • Hormonal changes
  • Illness or disease
  • Certain medications
  • Inflamed eyelid glands
  • Allergies

If you develop dry eye, you may notice symptoms such as burning, itching, and redness of the eyes. It may feel as though you have debris caught under your eyelid, and you may find yourself fishing thin strings of mucus out of the eye. This condition is usually very uncomfortable, which is why it’s important to schedule a dry eye screening with your vision specialist right away. Treatment for dry eyes can bring immediate relief.

How Do the Winter Months Affect Dry Eyes?

Dry eyes often worsen as summer fades to fall and fall to winter, because there’s less moisture in the air. This is especially true indoors, where the air is constantly being heated.

Some people are also more allergy-prone during the cooler months because of common triggers such as ragweed, mold, and dust mites. Ragweed usually releases pollen between the months of August and October. And it’s estimated that roughly 75 percent of those who have spring plant allergies are also sensitive to ragweed.

Where to Find Help for Dry Eye in Pittsburgh

If you’re struggling with dry eyes in Pittsburgh, call Lappen Eye Care to schedule an eye exam. The friendly and professional eye specialists at Lappan Eye Care can help ease the pain and discomfort associated with dry eyes.

Is It Dry Eye, or Pink Eye? What to Know

Do you have red, itchy eyes? Are you worried that you might have dry eye, or pink eye, and you’re not sure which? The symptoms of these two conditions can be surprisingly similar! At Lappen Eye Care, we provide eye care and eye exams in Pittsburgh and the surrounding area to help you recover from eye related conditions. Here’s what you need to know about dry eye and pink eye – and the difference between the two.

Dry Eye and its Symptoms

Dry eye is a condition that occurs when your eyes don’t make adequate tears to keep your eyes properly moist. Tears can help protect your eyes from bacteria, dirt and debris. The tears your eyes make also help you focus your vision, so it’s important for your eyes to make enough tears! Symptoms of dry eye include:

  • Scratchy, burning eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Mucus in or around your eyes
  • Difficulty wearing contact lenses
  • Redness of the eye
  • Watery eyes (a response from your body to your dry eyes)

Pink Eye and its Symptoms

Pink eye is a condition that involves inflammation of the membrane around the eyeball (called the conjunctiva). Pink eye looks very similar to dry eye in that its symptoms include:

  • Red, itchy eyes (one or both eyes)
  • A scratchy or gritty feeling in the eye
  • Tearing
  • Discharge around the eyes

When to Go to the Eye Doctor

You may not know whether you have pink eye or dry eye. That’s why it’s important to speak with an eye doctor! If you’re having a problem with red eyes and discomfort in your eyes, contact your eye doctor in the Pittsburgh area to find out what your next steps are. The professionals at Lappen Eye Care can help!

What’s Causing My Dry Eye and What Can I Do About It?

Dry eye can be a pain! Dry eyes can ruin your day by making your eyes red, itchy and uncomfortable. Knowing the causes of dry eye and how to get dry eye treatment in the Pittsburgh area can help restore your vision – and eyes – to better health. Here’s what you need to know.

Dry Eye Causes

There are many things that can cause dry eyes, so if you’re suffering from dry eye, you may not immediately understand why. Some common causes of this problem:

  • Certain medications, particularly antihistamines
  • Aging, hormonal changes and menopause
  • Changes in the environment that lead to dry air
  • Diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome and certain collagen vascular diseases
  • Seasonal allergies

Dry Eye Treatment

The way that dry eyes are treated depends on the cause. Mild dry eyes can be treated with over-the-counter artificial tears.

Another way to treat your dry eyes is to eliminate the cause. For example, some people experience dry eyes in winter, when the air is less humid. If this is the cause of your dry eyes, using a humidifier in the parts of your home where you spend the most time can help treat the problem.

Ultimately, your eye doctor can help you determine the best treatment for your dry eyes. If needed, your eye doctor can prescribe medications that can help restore the appropriate moisture your eyes.

Get Dry Eye Care at Lappen Eye Care

If you’re suffering from dry eye, contact your eye doctor in the Pittsburgh area. At Lappen Eye Care, we help patients identify the causes of dry eye and also help them manage their dry eye symptoms. Call today to make an appointment.

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.