Your Ashburn Optometrist Discusses Diagnosing and Treating Dry Eyes

Chronically dry eyes can be due to aging, medications, eyes strain, inadequate tear production or other disorders affecting your eyes’ ability to retain moisture. To diagnose and treat dry eyes, your optometrist in Ashburn will examine your eyes with special optometry devices capable of discovering problems affecting tear glands and the chemical composition of tears. In addition, eyes exams can also detect undiagnosed diseases that may affect fluid levels in the eyes by evaluating the condition of blood vessels within the eye.

How Your Ashburn Optometrist Diagnoses Dry Eyes

To determine what is causing dry eyes, your eyes doctor will perform a series of tests after ruling out dry eyes due to medications, simple aging, hormone/menopause issues or eyes strain. Schirmer’s test evaluates how fast your eyes produce tears while the tear film breakup time test (TBUT) analyzes how long your tears last before they evaporate. Other dry eyes tests include the Ocular Surface Disease Index, meibomian gland grading, tear osmolarity and conjunctival/corneal staining.

Causes of Dry Eyes

One of the most common causes of dry eyes is taking medications that contribute to reduced soft tissue fluid levels. Taking beta-blockers, antihistamines, antidepressants and sedatives regularly will often cause dry eyes. Other reasons for chronic dry eyes include deficiency/absence of tears and impairment of tear gland functioning (xerophthalmia) typically related to systemic lupus, Sjogren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis or certain vitamin deficiencies. Structural abnormalities of the eyelid may also contribute to dry eyes by interfering with blinking, an activity essential to maintaining overall eyes moisture retention and fluidity.

Treatment for Chronic Dry Eyes

Artificial tears prescribed by your Ashburn optometrist can help relieve dry eyes symptoms such as stinging, itching, burning, blurry vision and redness. Oral tetracycline and topical corticosteroids may increase fluid content in some people suffering dry eyes as well.

Severe cases of dry eyes involving abnormalities in the way your eyes drains fluid may require insertion of plugs into drainage passageways (puncta) to increase retention of fluid in your eyes. Punctal plugs raise moisture content in your eyes by preventing fluids from draining into sinus passageways.

If punctal plugs do not work, punctal lasering (cauterization) to close drainage passageways may be recommended by your optometrist.

Call Us Today To Schedule An Appointment!

Neglecting to have dry eyes treated may result in corneal abrasions or scarring since tear insufficiency cannot effectively remove debris from the eye. Schedule an appointment today for dry eyes testing at our Ashburn optometry office today by calling 703-810-7784. We also serve the areas of Waxpool, Brambleton, Sterling, Broadlands and Lansdowne.