Henry David Thoreau said, “The eye is the jewel of the body.” But if your eyes are feeling scratchy, itchy, or sensitive to light, those jewels may not feel very valuable. These symptoms may be a result of a condition called Dry Eye Syndrome. If you are experiencing Dry Eye Syndrome, visit our Howerton Eye in Austin, Southwest Austin, or Kyle to discuss treatment options and prevention plans.

What Is Dry Eye?

Dry Eye Syndrome is a condition that results when the eye doesn’t have enough tears to lubricate and protect itself. When your eye either produces too few tears or it produces too many tears to retain the moisture, Dry Eye symptoms may occur. If you suffer from Dry Eye Syndrome, you may be experiencing the following symptoms:

  • Scratchy feeling in eyes
  • Decreased tolerance for contact lens
  • Burning or stinging sensation
  • Itching eyes
  • Red eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Sandy or gritty feeling in eyes

Causes of Dry Eye

Dry Eye Syndrome is a result of an imbalance in your eye’s tear flow. This imbalance may be influenced by the following environmental factors:

  • Dry air (climate or frequent exposure to air conditioning)
  • Smoke
  • Sun exposure

The following lifestyle factors may also affect your tear production and increase your likelihood of developing Dry Eye:

  • Screen time (causes less frequent and less effective blinking)
  • Aging
  • Certain medications
  • Some diseases (i.e. rheumatoid arthritis)

Long-Term Effects of Dry Eye

Dry Eye Syndrome is often a chronic condition, which means that individuals who don’t seek treatment may be dealing with discomfort or pain for several years. In addition to living with stinging and scratchy eyes, Dry Eye Syndrome increases the likelihood of eye injury or infection. Because tears form a barrier from bacteria on the surface of the eye, patients who have Dry Eye syndrome are more likely to develop infections. Additionally, severe cases of Dry Eye can result in high levels of inflammation and even damage to the cornea. End the discomfort and learn more about the effects of Dry Eye by contacting Howerton Eye today.

Treatment Options

Dependent on the cause and factors surrounding your unique case of Dry Eye Syndrome, your eye doctor at Howerton Eye will suggest different treatment options. For mild cases, lifestyle changes like a humidifier, protective eyewear, or limiting your screen time can help your eyes develop the tears and moisture they need to recover. For more severe cases, your ophthalmologist may suggest treatments such as Restasis, plug implants, or surgically closing your tear ducts. Read our website to learn more about these potential treatment options, or call our clinic to schedule an appointment with an eye doctor.

Call Our Ophthalmologists Today!

You don’t need to live with those scratchy, uncomfortable eyes anymore. If you are experiencing Dry Eye Syndrome, call Howerton Eye today. With locations in Austin, Southwest Austin, and Kyle, Texas, our eye doctors are eager to serve you. Call us today, and you will cry tears of joy for your renewed eye comfort!