The National Institutes of Health estimate that over 16 million Americans suffer from dry eye disease. If you are experiencing it, you are not alone. Fortunately, dry eye is treatable with help from an eye doctor. Our team at Wichita Optometry has gathered the top five causes of dry eye. We are here to help if you are living with dry eye.
One: Getting Older
Dry eyes occur when people are unable to produce enough tears to keep their eyes moist. Many changes happen in the body as you age that can impact tear flow. These include developing one of the medical conditions that can cause dry eye, not blinking as much, and having oxidative stress. This is when there is a chemical imbalance in the body between the antioxidants and free radicals. Free radicals are atoms that can damage your body’s cells.
Two: Certain Medical Conditions
Some illnesses decrease your tear production, including rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome, lupus, Parkinson’s disease, scleroderma, allergic eye disease from allergies, and thyroid disorders. If you don’t get enough Vitamin A in your diet, you can also develop dry eyes.
Three: Taking Certain Medications
It is not entirely clear why many medications cause dry eyes. Talk to your general doctor or eye doctor about the risks of reducing or eliminating your medication if your dry eye is severe. Medications known to contribute to dry eyes include those for Parkinson’s disease, antihistamines, decongestants, hormone replacement therapy or HRT, high blood pressure medication, acne medications, and birth control.
Four: Contact Lens Use
Using contacts for long periods may cause the nerves to become desensitized in the cornea. Contact lenses can also absorb your tears, which means there are fewer tears available to keep your eyes moist. Talk to your eye doctor about what you can do to keep your eyes moist while wearing contacts.
Five: Laser Eye Surgery
It’s common to experience dry eye symptoms after getting laser eye surgery. However, these symptoms usually go away over time.
Get Dry Eye Treatment in Wichita, KS
If you have questions about preventing dry eye and live in the Wichita area, contact Wichita Optometry to speak with one of our eye doctors. Call our team today at (316) 942-7496 or reach us through our website by using our online contact form.