Dr. Jim Martin 04/25/2014

eye_drops_1.jpgYour eyes are dry. Your natural tear production is not making any difference. Your eyes are red, irritated and sometimes your vision is blurry. What is wrong? That is a question eye doctors get asked every day. Knowing the reason for the dry eye and what causes it is important in figuring out what is going on.

How did I get dry eyes?

Dry eyes happen when your eyes are not getting enough tears to keep the surface lubricated and protected. This lack of coverage is what leaves the eye vulnerable to irritation. 

The causes of dry eye vary widely. Here are some of the most common causes:

Medication - Some medicines lower the amount of tears the eyes produce. Some of the culprits include drugs used to treat high blood pressure, depression, and acne. Hormone replacement drugs are another culprit. Antihistamines and decongestants are common OTC medications that cause dry eyes. Adjusting medications and using artificial tears can help.

Environment - Wind and dry air can dry the eyes out. Being outside in windy conditions, like in Amarillo, Texas, without eye conditions can cause tears to dry up quickly. Air without a lot of moisture, like in the desert or in cold climates during winter, can also dry the eyes out. Wearing eye protection and using artificial tears can help.

Day-to-day tasks - When you have to concentrate on something, you naturally blink less. This reduces the amount of tears your eyes receive. Common day-to-day tasks like driving, working on the computer, and reading can lead to dry eyes. Consciously blinking is a good way to keep moisture in the eyes. Also, taking a break from the activity will give your eyes time to recover.

Eyelid problems - The eyelid is what spreads the tears across the surface of the eye to protect it. When there is a problem with the eyelid, it can spread tears unevenly or allow air in that dries out the eye. An in-turned or out-turned lid can create this situation.

Dry eye syndrome - Sometimes the eye has trouble producing the tears needed to keep your eyes moist. It can happen when the amount of moisture or the amount of lipids in the tears is out of balance. The most common cause of dry eye syndrome is an inadequate production of lipids by the meibomian glands in the eyelids. The second most common cause is a deficiency of water in the tear. Treatments are available for both conditions.

Who offers dry eye treatment in Amarillo, Texas?

If you are having problems with dry eyes, contact the Amarillo eye care specialists at Broome Optical. They can assess your eyes and figure out what is causing the irritation and pain. We offer several treatment options to ease the symptoms, including LipiFlow and LipiView. Please contact us today to learn more about your dry eye treatment options. 

Learn More Dry Eye Causes