Westminster Eye Center
Ophthalmologist & Glaucoma Specialist located in Westminster, CA
You might associate tears only with crying, but they’re actually crucial for your eye health at all times. When you don’t make enough healthy tears, you have insufficient tear film to protect your corneas. This leads to dry eye, a condition that can cause red, sore, and rough-feeling eyes. Untreated, dry eye can cause blurry vision and even corneal damage. Skilled ophthalmologist Christine Nguyen, MD, at Westminster Eye Center Westminster, California, offers effective treatments that soothe your eyes and restore your eye health. Call the office or use online booking today.
Dry Eye Q & A
What is dry eye?
Your eyes naturally produce tears that lightly coat your eye when you blink. This coating, called the tear film, maintains a smooth and clear eye surface. But, if you don't make enough tears, it can lead to a collection of eye problems known as dry eye.
Dry eye can also develop when you have imbalanced tear film. The tear film normally contains three important components: oil, water, and mucus. If your tears don't have enough of one or more of these components, it can cause the same type of eye problems you'd have with inadequate overall tear production.
Do I have dry eye?
Dry eye symptoms usually start with uncomfortably dry eyes, and you may also have:
- Burning or stinging eyes
- Foreign body sensation
- Light sensitivity
- Heavy-feeling eyes
- Red eyes
- Strings of eye mucus
Dry eye can also trigger eye watering, which is a reaction to the eye surface irritation. Unfortunately, the extra tears are just water and don't protect your eyes or relieve symptoms.
You could develop blurry vision and even corneal abrasions or ulcers if you don't address dry eye symptoms, so schedule an appointment at Westminster Eye Center promptly if you recognize these symptoms.
What causes dry eye?
Hormone depletion, which happens in both women and men as they age, is a common cause of dry eye. But, you can get dry eye at any age. Some other possible causes can include:
- Autoimmune disease - lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or others
- Blepharitis - swollen or inflamed eyelids
- Entropion - inward-turning eyelids
- Ectropion - outward-turning eyelids
- Prolonged contact lens wear
- Excessive digital device use
- Dry, windy, or smoky environment
- Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) or other refractive surgery
- Medications - diuretics, antihistamines, and others
Dr. Nguyen examines your eyes and reviews your history and lifestyle carefully. She also conducts tests like tear measurement and analysis so she can customize a treatment plan for you.
How can I cure dry eye?
Treatment depends on the underlying cause and how dry eye affects your eye health. Dr. Nguyen may prescribe lifestyle changes like reducing screen time, using a humidifier, and blinking exercises.
You may need prescription eye drops that add tears or boost tear production. Dr. Nguyen may also prescribe punctal plugs, which block your tear ducts to conserve your natural tears.
Get answers for dry eye symptoms at Westminster Eye Center by booking online or calling the office today.