About 16 million Americans experience chronic dry eyes. Though common, without early intervention and treatment, dry eyes can affect your quality of life. At Orange County Cataract and Glaucoma in Santa Ana, California, Anand Bhatt, MD, uses proven care methods to safely address dry eyes. If you regularly experience itchy, irritated eyes, book online to schedule an appointment, or call the office today.
Dry eyes are a common problem that occurs when your eyes fail to produce adequate lubrication. If your eyes don’t produce tears, it damages their surface, causing pain and inflammation.
Dry eyes affect everyone differently. For some people, they’re a minor annoyance that flares up during certain activities like bike riding or sitting in an air-conditioned room. For others, they’re a persistent problem that makes it difficult to work at a computer, drive, or perform other routine tasks.
Common symptoms of dry eyes include:
If you have dry eyes, you might also notice an increase in mucus and crust around your eyes.
Dry eyes affect people of all genders and races, but several factors may increase your risk. For example, you’re more likely to experience dry eyes if you're aged 50 or older. Other factors that increase the likelihood of dry eyes include wearing contact lenses and eating a diet that’s low in vitamin A.
There’s no way to prevent dry eyes entirely, but there are things you can do to lower your risk. Dr. Bhatt recommends quitting smoking, using over-the-counter eye drops throughout the day, and wearing sunglasses outside. If you work in front of a computer all day, take frequent breaks to rest your eyes.
To diagnose dry eyes, Dr. Bhatt conducts a comprehensive eye exam and asks about your lifestyle and symptoms. He then orders several screens, including a test to measure the volume and quality of your tears. After making a diagnosis, Dr. Bhatt develops a custom treatment plan.
Treatment of dry eyes depends on the severity of your symptoms and the underlying cause. Dr. Bhatt might recommend:
If your symptoms persist or get worse, Dr. Bhatt might recommend punctal plugs. These small pieces of silicone help plug your tear ducts, reducing tear loss.
To further explore treatment for dry eyes, request a consultation at Orange County Cataract and Glaucoma. Book online to schedule an appointment or call the office today.