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Coping With Chronic Dry Eye

Are you unable to wear contact lenses comfortably due to chronic dry eye? Is the irritation making it difficult to engage in situations where you must make eye contact with others?

If so, your eyes may not be producing enough natural lubrication on their own. This can impact your ability to see well and concentrate on the tasks in front of you.

Fortunately, the caring staff at Benjamin Optical, with four locations in New York, can evaluate your symptoms and help you find a treatment plan that works.

What does it mean if you have chronic dry eye?

When your eyes don’t make enough moisture, this causes chronic dry eye. It can also occur when your eyes can’t produce enough tears, or the tears are poor quality. This is a pretty common condition among adults and thankfully is easily treatable.

Tears consist of water, oil, and mucus, which spread in your eye to prevent the moisture from evaporating. But if you don’t produce tears with all these “ingredients,” or if you don’t have enough of each, this can also cause chronic dry eye.

What are the symptoms?

If your eyes frequently feel dry, that’s a pretty good indicator that you have chronic dry eye. But there are other symptoms, too, such as burning eyes, redness, sensitivity to light, difficulty with night driving, blurred vision, and feeling like you have something stuck in your eye (even if you don’t).

Interestingly, eyes that are constantly watery are also a symptom. This is basically your body’s way of overcompensating for dryness. But the quality of your tears could still be poor and not enough to moisturize your entire eye.

What are the causes?

There are many causes of chronic dry eye. Sometimes the cause is environmental. For example, this condition is common if you live in a dry climate, or in an area that regularly experiences forest fires. Other people experience chronic dry eye if they stare at a computer or phone screen for too long. Smoking frequently can be a cause. Chronic dry eye can also be a side effect of certain medications.

Plus, the older you are, the more likely you are to experience chronic dry eye.

How can you find relief? 

Your doctor may recommend a combination of solutions in order to treat your dry eyes, such as rewetting drops or allergy medication. Natural treatments like castor oil eye drops or placing a warm, wet cloth over your eyes can ease your symptoms. 

If you wear contact lenses, make sure you're keeping them well moisturized when not in use. You may want to consider taking them out a few hours earlier, or wearing glasses more often, as this will help preserve more of your eye’s natural moisture. There are also prescription medications available to help your eyes produce more tears.

What should you do? 

Has chronic eye been giving you a hard time? You don’t have to live with the discomfort any longer. You can schedule an appointment online today! We look forward to hearing from you.

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