It’s normal for your eyes to feel dry and scratchy after doing certain things, like staring at a screen or driving for hours. However, certain factors can put you at risk of chronic dry eye, and limiting them wherever possible might alleviate your symptoms. With professional treatment and lifestyle changes, you can finally stop rubbing your eyes.
At Ventura Eye Institute in Camarillo, California, our professional team of eye care specialists can diagnose the cause of your dry eye problem and provide appropriate treatment, including treatment for meibomian gland dysfunction.
Risk factors for dry eye syndrome
Your eyes are far more sensitive than you might think. Many different aspects of your life can contribute to the development of dry eye syndrome, including:
- Getting older (reaching the age of 50 or older)
- Having eyelid problems (ectropion/entropion)
- Staring at a screen or through a windshield every day
- Suffering hormone imbalances, including those caused by menopause
- Taking medications, such as antihistamines and antidepressants
- Putting up with dry air, particularly from air conditioners or heaters
- Experiencing a vitamin A deficiency
Taking dry eyes seriously
With air conditioners, screens, and contact lenses playing such a central role in many of our lives, it’s unsurprising that your eyes become dry occasionally. While over-the-counter eye drops might temporarily soothe the sting, the inflammation remains.
Chronic dry eye syndrome can damage the eye’s surface, infection, and even sight loss. If you’ve noticed that your eyes are continuously dry, it might indicate that they are not producing quality tears.
Your tears are more than just saltwater; they contain aqueous fluid, mucus, and oil. An imbalance in any direction can lead to dry eye syndrome, though it’s most common to see decreased tear production and increased evaporation.
When your eyes fail to produce the proper oils, it causes your tears to evaporate faster than your body can produce them. This is commonly caused by meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) or a blockage of the small openings along the eyelid.
How a washout can help
While medicated eye drops and lifestyle changes might help one person, those suffering from clogged glands require more thorough treatment. At Ventura Eye Institute, we specialize in treating dry eye syndrome, particularly meibomian gland dysfunction.
Intraductal probing not only clears obstructions but it can also stimulate atrophic glands into working again. This restores the oil in your tears, keeping them from evaporating as soon as they’re spread across the eye's surface.
The entire procedure is completely non-invasive and only requires topical anesthetic. Meibomian gland washouts are notably safe and effective, especially when performed by an experienced professional.
To learn more about the process and discover what’s causing your dry eye syndrome, schedule a consultation by calling Ventura Eye Institute at 805-388-1211 or visit the contact page for more options.