Most of us have experienced dry, irritated eyes at some point, perhaps from cigarette smoke or wind. But for some, dry eye is chronic. Women and the elderly are more at risk, although doctors aren’t sure why.
Dry eye can be caused by:
- Not producing enough tears
- Tears that don’t have the right components to keep the eyes lubricated
Eventually, the condition can affect your vision, causing blurriness or glare.
Ophthalmologist Jeffrey Golen, MD, says one of the most common problems he sees is patients buying eyedrops intended for red eyes. They’re not designed for long-term use.
Make an appointment with an ophthalmologist.
“While taking these drops, their eyes may look perfectly white, but they will not be adequately lubricated,” he says. Instead, he recommends drops labeled as “artificial tears”. The best artificial tears are free from any preservatives, which can also cause irritation in higher doses.
Dry Eye and Lasik: What’s the Connection?
Lasik surgery can aggravate already-dry eyes.
“People who have dry eye oftentimes do worse in contact lenses,” Golen says. “Our patients who have issues with contact lenses are usually the first patients who want to get Lasik. Unfortunately, they are not always the best candidates because it is a fact that Lasik, or its cousin procedure PRK, will actually make the eye more dry.”
Golen has more information about dry eye, the Lasik connection and treatments in this week’s podcast. Listen to the podcast: