If you suffer from dry eyes, you aren’t alone. This common issue affects almost 5 million Americans aged 50 and above, and it affects more women than men.
At Bainbridge Eye Care in Bronx, New York, optometrists, Dr. Nicanor Lacsina and Dr. Yelena Pinkhasova and our team have the expertise and experience to diagnose and treat your chronic dry eyes. Our practice has been actively serving patients for more than 20 years, offering the highest level of care for anyone who walks in our door.
Symptoms of dry eyes
This uncomfortable condition happens when your tears stop providing adequate lubrication for your eyes, which can cause inflammation and damage to the surface of your eyes. Symptoms include:
- Strings of mucus in and around your eyes
- Stinging and burning in your eyes
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty with wearing contact lenses
- Sensitivity to light
- Difficulty seeing when driving at nighttime
Dry eyes can also cause you to feel like you have something in your eye when there’s nothing there.
Causes of dry eyes
Dry eyes occur when you have a disruption to your healthy tear film, which has three layers that include fatty oils, mucus, and aqueous fluid. Most people suffer from dry eyes for two reasons:
Decreased tear production
- Taking certain medications
- Certain medical conditions
- Corneal nerve sensitivity
Aging is also linked to lowered tear production.
Increased tear evaporation
- Eye allergies
- Environmental influences, such as wind, dry air, or smoke
- Vitamin A deficiency
- Preservatives in eyedrops
Dry eyes tend to be more prevalent in people over the age of 50 and in women because of their hormonal changes due to pregnancy, birth control use, and menopause.
Home remedies for your dry eyes
There are many ways to treat your dry eyes —- some of those remedies can start with you at home. For example, you can add artificial tears to your eyes to mimic real ones to keep your eyes moist and free of irritation. Or, you can change your diet. Simply add or increase your omega-3 fatty acids to support the oily part of your tear ducts.
Consider applying a warm, wet cloth to your eyes for up to four minutes twice a day. Massage your closed eyes to help push the inflamed oil out of your glands. You should also clean your lids at least once a day, add moisture with an indoor humidifier, and decrease your screen time to promote blinking.
You might also experience dry eyes if you wear contacts. We provide various types that can keep your eyes lubricated and help lessen the severity of your symptoms.
When outside, you should also wear wraparound sunglasses to protect your eyes from the wind and sun.
Medical remedies for your dry eyes
We recommend that you have routine, annual eye exams to monitor the condition of your eyes. We may need to prescribe medication if your conservative home remedies aren’t producing successful results.
You might consider our procedure that plugs your tear ducts, which can help your eyes stay moist longer. It stops fluid from draining out of your eye. The plugs can be left in or removed, as desired.
To schedule an eye exam with Dr. Lacsina or Dr. Pinkhasova, contact our friendly office staff by phone or online. Feel free to send us a message if you have questions before your visit.