Though everyone experiences occasional bouts of dry eye, the persistence of this uncomfortable condition increases as we age and can also result from other underlying eye conditions. Left untreated, dry eyes can detract from the activities you love and even lead to more serious medical conditions. At Ooh La La Optometry in Silverlake and Sherman Oaks, California, Dr. Ana Vargas provides a simple and effective dry eye test to determine the cause of your dry eye and provide a treatment path that restores your comfort. To hear more, call to schedule your consultation or book online.
Dry eyes usually happen when your eyes don’t produce enough tears to stay moisturized. This can happen for a few reasons, with the most common including:
Your body stops producing the same volume of tears as you grow older.
Some medications can interfere with your body’s tear production, including antihistamines, antidepressants, and decongestants.
Diabetes, lupus, thyroid disorders, and vitamin A deficiency are just a few of the medical conditions that can affect your ability to produce tears.
Sometimes an external factor causes dry eye, rather than your lack of tear production. For example, high winds or dry air can dry out your eyes faster than your tears can moisturize your eyes. Overusing contact lenses or not taking them out at scheduled times can also contribute to dry eye.
Dry eye can do more than cause irritation—it can also affect your vision. Some of the most common symptoms include:
Over time, chronic dry eye can increase your risk for eye infections and even lead to cornea damage, so it’s important to schedule a consultation if you’re experiencing persistent dry eye.
If you think you’re suffering from dry eye, Dr. Vargas performs a comprehensive eye exam to diagnose any underlying issues that might contribute to your symptoms.
As part of this exam, Dr. Vargas will also measure your tears by placing a small blotting strip of paper under your lower eyelid, a test known as the Schirmer test.
How Dr. Vargas treats your dry eye depends on what’s causing the symptoms. If your dry eye comes from a certain illness, such as diabetes, Dr. Vargas will recommend treating the underlying condition, which usually works on such symptoms.
Likewise, if your dry eye is the result of a medication side effect, Dr. Vargas might recommend you switch to another form of medication that doesn’t cause dry eye as a side effect.
Several medications are also available to help treat dry eye symptoms. These include drugs to control inflammation that might be blocking your tear production and drugs that stimulate additional tear production.
If you’re suffering from regular dry eye, there’s no need to tough it out. Call Dr. Vargas at Ooh La La Optometry in Silverlake and Sherman Oaks, California, to schedule your consultation or book online.