Find Relief From the Symptoms of Dry Eye

Man looking up and applying eyedropsWith the amount of time many of us log in front of the computer and hand-held devices, it is no surprise dry eyes are becoming an increasingly common problem. More than modern technology is to blame though – dry eyes can be caused by a host of other factors like aging and medical conditions. If you have dry, irritated eyes and are searching for relief, Dr. Tom Sather can provide simple and effective treatment to restore your comfort. To learn more about treating your dry eye, contact our Bozeman practice and schedule an appointment today.

Common Symptoms

Dry eye symptoms extend beyond the obvious sensation of dryness. Patients often experience uncomfortable itching and irritation, and may feel a grittiness similar to an eyelash in the eye. Redness frequently affects sufferers too, contributing to a tired or even sickly appearance. Other symptoms can include blurred vision or increased sensitivity to light, and problems with contact lens use.

To many people’s surprise, tearing can also be a sign of dry eyes. As your body attempts to compensate for dryness, excess tears may be produced. Unfortunately, these surplus tears often lack the proper balance of water, oil, and mucus that make up normal, more viscous tears. Although these tears may wet the eyes temporarily, they do not properly lubricate the corneal tissue.

Causes of Dry Eyes

As our population ages, and more of us spend large amounts of time staring at computer and phone screens, dry eyes will continue to be a growing trend. Some of the most common causes of dry eyes include:

  • Environmental factors: Our environment can play a huge role in the health of our eyes. Excessive computer use, arid climates, and air conditioners are some of the factors that can dry out our eyes.
  • The natural aging process: As we age, the function of our eyes is generally compromised – both our vision and the health of our glands and ducts. Many people over 50 and the majority of people over 65 years old suffer from dry eyes.
  • Menopause: As a woman’s hormones change during menopause, it is very likely she will experience a decrease in tear production.
  • Certain medications: Birth control pills and antihistamines used to treat allergies are just some of the drugs whose side effects include dry eyes.
  • Medical conditions: Abnormal ocular structure, allergies, or diseases such as Sjögren’s syndrome can compromise tear production and proper lubrication of the eye.

Effective Treatment Options

Dr. Sather can provide treatment for your dry eyes, starting with therapies that are most convenient to your lifestyle. Examples include:

  • Prescription eye drops: This common treatment for dry eyes involves regularly applying eye drops that are formulated to mimic the composition of natural tears. 
  • Topical treatments: In some instances, patients may benefit from a topical treatment that is applied directly to the eye. Some daily eye inserts dissolve in the eye and provide long-lasting lubrication.
  • Punctal plugs: If more conservative treatment options fail, your doctor may recommend small silicone plugs to close your tear ducts. This will keep tears from draining from the eye too quickly.

A growing number of dry eye treatments are available. During an evaluation, Dr. Sather can determine which type is best for you.

Learn More By Scheduling a Consultation

Dry eyes do not have to be a distraction and irritant in your life. Contact our practice today and schedule a consultation with Dr. Sather to learn more.