Dry eyes are a common issue that can cause irritation and discomfort. If left untreated, they may permanently damage your cornea or other parts of your eye. Read on as trusted eye doctor Joel H McGahen OD discusses the potential causes of dry eyes and explain whether they are permanent.
Causes of Dry Eyes
There are several potential causes of dry eyes, including environmental factors, medications, and hormonal changes. Each of these can lead to reduced tear production or evaporative loss.
- Environmental Factors. Prolonged exposure to air conditioning, computer screens, windy environments, and even sun glare all cause evaporative loss of tears. This is especially true if you’re wearing contact lenses. Additionally, being in arid or smoky climates may reduce the amount of moisture available for tear production.
- Medications. Certain medications reduce tear production or evaporative loss, which may lead to dry eyes. Common culprits include certain types of antihistamines and antidepressants. If you suspect your medication is causing dry eyes, it’s important to talk to your optometrist before making any changes.
- Hormonal Changes. Hormonal changes, particularly those that occur during menopause or pregnancy, can also cause dry eyes. Hormone fluctuations reduce the production of oil in the tear film and make it harder for tears to stay on the surface of your eyes.
Are Dry Eyes Permanent?
Depending on the cause, dry eyes may be temporary. In some cases, it can be treated with over-the-counter artificial tears or other home remedies. However, if left untreated, it’s possible that the condition could become permanent.
Short-Term Dry Eye Treatment
If you’re experiencing dry eyes, there are several treatments available to help provide relief. Over-the-counter artificial tears and ointments are used to keep the eye lubricated and reduce irritation. Additionally, a warm compress placed on the eyes for 15 minutes at a time may also help.
Long-Term Dry Eye Treatment
If your dry eyes persist, it’s time to visit an optometrist. They will evaluate the underlying cause of your condition and recommend a treatment plan tailored to your individual needs. This may include prescription medications or more advanced treatments such as punctal plugs or ocular surface reconstruction surgery.
Dry eyes can be a nuisance, but with the proper treatment, you can manage symptoms and stop it from becoming a permanent condition. Count on the low-vision specialist at Joel H McGahen OD to take care of your eye care needs. Call us today at (717) 264-4012, or visit our website to schedule an appointment. We proudly serve Shippensburg and Greencastle, PA.