What Is Making My Eyes So Dry and Itchy?
For people with chronically dry, itchy eyes, even routine tasks (e.g., reading, working on the computer, putting in contact lenses) can be uncomfortable. But with the treatments and technology available today, no one should have to live with the discomfort and burden of chronic dry eye.
In this month’s blog post, Dr. Gregory Johnson of Intracoastal Eye discusses the most common causes of dry, itchy eyes and explains how he can provide much-needed relief to patients suffering the condition.
Factors that Can Dry Out Your Eyes
There are many factors that can lead to dry, itchy eyes, including the following:
- Allergies to pollen, dust, animal dander or mold
- Certain medications – e.g., antihistamines
- The natural effects of aging
- Hormonal fluctuations – e.g., menopause
- Certain diseases – e.g., Sjogren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis
- Inability of the eyelids to close properly
- Air from an air conditioner/heater
Another factor that can cause dry eyes is an imbalance in the composition of the tears due to meibomian gland dysfunction. Normal, healthy tears contain water for moisture, mucous to help the tears spread over the surface of the eye and oils to prevent the tears from evaporating too quickly off the surface of the eyes. The meibomian glands in the eyelids are responsible for producing the oils that keep the tears from evaporating prematurely; sometimes they can become clogged or otherwise malfunction, throwing off the balance of the tears.
How Dr. Johnson Can Provide Relief
Artificial tears and eye drops can provide temporary improvement in cases of dry, itchy eyes caused by allergies, medications and similar factors. But when the underlying cause is something more serious, such as meibomian gland dysfunction, the root cause must be addressed to achieve long-lasting relief.
One treatment option for malfunctioning meibomian glands is a system called LipiFlow, which uses a combination of heat and gentle massage to clear obstructed glands and restore the oily layer to the tear film.
Another option is to block the tiny tear ducts with microscopic plugs, so the tears are forced to stay in the eyes longer.
Book a Consultation at Intracoastal Eye
If you are struggling with chronically dry, itchy eyes, Dr. Johnson can determine the cause of the problem and recommend solutions tailored to your circumstances. To book an appointment with Dr. Johnson, please call (910) 777-8254 or send us an email.