Dry Eye Syndrome Symptoms & Causes

A large number of individuals are affected by Dry Eye Syndrome, which is when your eyes do not produce enough tears (aqueous or water deficient dry eye). When tear production is inadequate or unstable, it can make your eyes feel uncomfortable and lead to inflammation and damage to the eye’s surface. Learn more about the causes and symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome below. If you believe you are suffering from this condition, contact the eye experts at Cavanaugh Eye Center today for dry eye treatment.

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Dry Eye Symptoms

Dry Eye Syndrome describes a group of conditions that cause inflammation on the surface of your eyes and disrupt your eyes’ tear film. The most common symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome are:

  • A stinging, burning, or gritty/itchy sensation in your eyes
  • Watery eyes/excessive tearing
  • Eye redness
  • Irritation
  • Tired, heavy, or sore eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Fluctuating vision
  • Discomfort when wearing contact lenses

What Causes Dry Eyes?

Dry eyes are caused by a variety of reasons that disrupt the healthy tear film. Your tear film has a very specific recipe of mucus, water, and lipids that have vision, anti-inflammatory, and comfort properties. If your tear film is disrupted from an imbalance of surface oils, your tears evaporate quickly and dry eye symptoms ensue.

Meibomitis (evaporative dry eye) is a secondary cause of Dry Eye Syndrome and is also very common. Meibomitis causes clogging of the tiny oil glands that line your upper and lower eyelids (meibomian glands).

The following factors may cause or worsen Dry Eye Syndrome and/or Meibomitis:

  • Aging
  • Reading or spending time on the computer
  • Hormonal changes like menopause
  • Medications such as antihistamines, decongestants, and antidepressants
  • Certain eye surgeries such as cataract or refractive surgery
  • Environmental conditions such as wind, winter, or dry climates
  • Various medical conditions such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, or thyroid problems

Mask Associated Dry Eye

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mask Associated Dry Eye (MADE) has become a problem for many people. As you breathe out, the air is channeled up, out of the top of the face mask and over the surface of the eye. This movement of air over the eye causes tears to evaporate, leaving the surface of the eye dry. Eyes may also feel gritty, irritated, itchy, watery, and look red.

To combat this, make sure your mask fits well and consider taping the top edge of the mask for prolonged wear. You may also alleviate dry feeling eyes by using lubricating eye drops. Our eye doctors, Dr. Cavanaugh and Dr. Jaynes, can recommend a solution for you.

Dry Eye Diagnosis in Kansas City

Dry eye symptoms are likely to worsen if left untreated. If you’ve experienced any of the symptoms listed above, contact Cavanaugh Eye Center to schedule an eye exam with our trained professionals for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Address: 6200 W 135th St Suite 300, Overland Park, KS 66223

Phone: (913) 897-9200

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