A lot of different factors can make a difference in how your eyes feel. Things like staying up late, exposure to harmful indoor or outdoor light sources, and going for a swim have the potential to leave your eyes itchy and dry. However, dealing with these causes is usually easy, just calling for common-sense precautions.
For millions of people in the United States, chronic dry eye problems aren't so easy to cope with. If you have chronic dry eye disease, the scratchy, burning feeling is constant, no matter how much rest you get or how carefully you avoid environmental triggers. For people with this condition, coping with symptoms can be a real challenge.
For dry eye care you can trust, turn to our specialists Stephen Wolchok, MD, and Eugene Wolchok, MD, and our talented staff of warm professionals at Wolchok Eye Associates in Jacksonville, Florida. Here are some things you might not know about coping with your chronic dry eye condition.
About chronic dry eye
Your eyes naturally produce a layer of constant fluid, keeping themselves lubricated and clean. If you don't produce enough natural tears, or if the composition of your fluids is unusual, you feel sensations of burning and itching in your eyes.
Several factors can cause chronic dry eye, including:
- Certain medications
- Hormonal changes
If you have chronic dry eye disease, you're dealing with more than just an occasional irritation of your eyes. This condition causes daily discomfort on a long-term basis, and, if not treated, can even cause serious damage to your eyes.
Treatments to try at home
If your eyes are persistently itchy or uncomfortable, you can try some at-home treatments and easy lifestyle changes to determine if they can resolve your problem. The best at-home options for you depend on your symptoms and medical history, so ask the experts at Wolchok Eye Associates for a recommendation.
Things to try include:
- Soothing your symptoms with a warm, damp compress
- Trying over-the-counter products like artificial tears
- Taking a break from using contact lenses
- Investing in quality sunglasses
- Swapping out problematic medications
- Quitting smoking and avoiding second-hand smoke
You also could try gentle massage to stimulate tear production, but be sure to discuss this with Dr. Wolchok and use a proper technique so you don’t apply too much pressure and risk eye damage.
Effective professional options
If at-home treatments aren't effective in soothing your dry eye symptoms, it’s time to turn to the professionals. At Wolchok Eye Associates, we're ready to help you put together an effective treatment plan.
We may recommend:
- Medications to increase your tear production
- Prescription eye drops to reduce inflammation
- In-Office treatments tailored to your unique eyes
In serious cases, minor surgery can help unblock your tear drainage and keep your eyes lubricated.
To talk with the Wolchok Eye Associates team about your uncomfortable and frustrating chronic dry eye symptoms, reach out to us today. You can get in touch over the phone at 904-739-0606, or request an appointment with our online booking tool.