What Are the Common Causes & Symptoms of Dry Eyes?

Jul 1, 2024

Avon Vision Associates 860-677-6444

New Hartford Eye Associates 860-379-7183

Are you struggling with dry, itchy, and irritated eyes? Have you tried using over-the-counter eye drops and found no relief? You might be dealing with dry eyes. Whether you experience occasional dryness or it’s a chronic issue for you, understanding the common causes and symptoms can help you manage this uncomfortable condition more effectively.  

Common causes of dry eyes 

Many different factors can contribute to dry eyes, including the following: 

  • Aging: As we age, our eyes naturally produce fewer tears, leading to increased dryness. 
  • Environmental factors: Dry climates, windy conditions, and indoor heating or air conditioning can evaporate tears more quickly. 
  • Digital screens: Extended periods of screen time can cause you to blink less often, contributing to dry eyes. 
  • Medical conditions: Conditions like blepharitis, Sjogren’s syndrome, and autoimmune diseases can affect tear production. 
  • Medications: Certain medications, including antihistamines, decongestants, and antidepressants, may cause dry eyes as a side effect. 
  • Eyelid issues: Conditions like blepharitis or meibomian gland dysfunction can affect tear production or quality.  
  • Hormonal changes: Fluctuations in hormones, particularly in women during menopause or pregnancy, can impact tear composition and quantity. 

Dry eye symptoms 

In terms of symptoms, dry eyes can manifest in a variety of ways. You might experience a gritty sensation in your eyes, redness, itching, or even excessive tearing (which may sound counterintuitive but is your eyes’ way of trying to compensate for the lack of moisture). You might also notice blurry vision or sensitivity to light. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms on a regular basis, it’s important to speak with our dry eye specialists in New Hartford and Avon to determine the underlying cause and find the best treatment.  

Dry eye treatment 

Managing dry eyes often involves a combination of lifestyle changes and medical interventions. Simple things like using artificial tears or a humidifier in your home or workplace can help relieve symptoms. Your eye doctor might also recommend prescription eye drops or ointments to help increase tear production or reduce inflammation.  

At Avon Vision Associates and New Hartford Eye Associates, we offer a range of innovative treatments to address dry eyes and provide long-lasting relief: 

  • OptiLight IPL (intense pulsed light) therapy: OptiLight is a specialized device that uses gentle pulses of light to help improve meibomian gland function and reduce inflammation in the eyelids. OptiLight helps restore the natural balance of your tear film and improve overall eye comfort. 
  • TearCare: TearCare is another innovative treatment option that delivers heat therapy directly to the eyelids to unclog meibomian glands and improve tear quality. 
  • Celluma low-level light therapy (LLLT): Celluma LLLT is a non-invasive treatment option that uses LED light energy to stimulate cellular repair processes in the skin around the eyes and promote healing. Celluma light therapy is also effective in addressing a range of other skin-related issues such as acne, fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and sun damage. 
  • ZEST (Zocular Eyelid System Treatment): This deep cleaning procedure for the eyes removes impurities and debris from the eyelids and lashes that can contribute to or worsen dry eye symptoms.  
  • Scleral contact lenses: Scleral lenses vault over the cornea and rest on the white part of the eye known as the sclera. This design creates a fluid-filled reservoir between the lens and the cornea, providing constant moisture and protection for dry eyes. 

Everyone’s experience with dry eyes is unique, so what works for one person may not work for another. That’s why it’s important to work closely with our eye doctor to develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses your specific needs and concerns. 

Living with dry eyes doesn’t have to be a constant struggle. By identifying the underlying causes and implementing personalized treatment strategies, you can see clearly and comfortably again. Schedule an appointment with Avon Vision Associates or New Hartford Eye Associates today to find long-lasting relief from uncomfortable dry eye symptoms.