Causes of CDE
Chronic dry eye often increases with age and is commonly seen in long-term contact lens wearers. Certain medical conditions, medications, and environmental factors can also put you at risk for developing CDE. The three main causes of CDE are decreased production of tears, increased evaporation of tears, and composition imbalance of the tears.
- Decreased tear production is most often related to advanced age, tear gland damage, or eye surgeries such as LASIK. Medications and certain diseases, such as diabetes, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), are other common factors.
- Increased tear evaporation is most commonly related to environmental factors, such as dry air or windy conditions, in addition to smoke and excessive heat. Activities such as reading or watching television can cause dry eye if you do not blink often enough.
- Your tears are composed of three ingredients: water, oil, and mucus. An imbalance in this composition can result in CDE.
Symptoms of CDE
If you suffer from dry eyes, you are likely familiar with the uncomfortable symptoms, including:
- Burning, itching, and stinging
- Excessively watery eyes
- Feeling as if you have something in your eyes
- Red eyes
- Sensitivity to light
Contact lenses may become uncomfortable to wear, and you may also find driving at night difficult.
Diagnosing and Treating Chronic Dry Eye
To accurately diagnose CDE, Drs. Gordon Wong and Wildon Wong will perform a comprehensive eye exam. In addition to this exam, they will also perform a series of tests that will measure both the quantity and quality of your tears. Your doctor will also carefully review your medical history to see if you have a condition or are taking a medication that could contribute to these symptoms. Additionally, your doctor will ask you about your lifestyle, your home, and your work environment to monitor any possible causes.
At Wink Optometry & Eyewear, we utilize advanced technology. We use the best examination tools available, which allows for greater accuracy and comfort during eye exams.
If you are taking a medication that causes dry eye, your doctor can work with your prescribing physician to find an alternative that is free of these side effects. In the event that your CDE is the result of an environmental factor, your doctor can help you take steps to limit your exposure and improve your symptoms. When external factors are not the cause, eye drops and medications may be necessary. Your doctor can prescribe clinical-strength eye drops and artificial tears, or a topical ointment. He may also prescribe steroidal eye drops to reduce inflammation.
If these conservative treatments are ineffective, your doctor may recommend BlephExTM to unclog the oil glands in your eyelids. In some cases, he may recommend surgically placing microscopic plugs into the glands to prevent excess drainage.
Schedule an Appointment Today
The frustrating symptoms of dry eyes affect many patients everyday, but we can help you manage the symptoms. Drs. Gordon Wong and Wildon Wong can help you evaluate the potential causes of your dry eyes and help you take steps to mitigate the condition. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.