While nearly everyone will experience dry eye at one time or another, many people experience chronic issues. If you have chronic symptoms such as burning, itching, stinging, or excessive tearing, you may have dry eye syndrome. Many factors can cause or contribute to this condition, such as wearing contacts or allergies. If you suffer from an autoimmune condition, it may be the cause of your dry eye symptoms.
What Autoimmune Disorders Can Cause Dry Eyes?
Several autoimmune disorders can cause you to experience dry eyes, including lupus, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, and Sjögren’s Syndrome. Graves’ eye disease, otherwise known as thyroid eye disease, also can cause dry eyes.
How Do Autoimmune Disorders Cause Dry Eyes?
Each autoimmune disease can have different effects on your eyes that cause you to deal with dry eyes. For instance, Sjögren’s syndrome causes your immune system to attack glands that produce saliva and tears, causing dry mouth and eyes.
Other autoimmune disorders create an imbalance in tear components, including oil, water, and mucus. A change in your tear composition can lead to the condition. Graves’ eye disease attacks the thyroid gland, as well as the tissue and muscles which surround your eyes, which can cause symptoms as well.
How Are Dry Eyes Treated?
If you are experiencing chronic dry eye, there are many options available for treatment. For a mild case, our eye doctor will likely start your treatment with a prescription for artificial tears to keep your eyes lubricated and more comfortable. We may recommend over-the-counter eye drops, or if needed, prescribe Restasis eye drops. Restasis reduces eye inflammation, in addition to lubricating your eyes.
In the case of more severe inflammation, steroid eye drops may be necessary. Punctal plugs may need to be inserted puncta, or small openings, of the tear drainage ducts. This helps ensure that tears lubricate your eyes properly.
Lipiflow, a treatment that unblocks the meibomian glands to alleviate the condition, may be used if blocked glands are causing your symptoms. For dry eye caused by blepharitis, the BlephEx microsponge is used to remove debris along the eyelids.
Tired of Suffering From Dry Eyes? Visit Our Dry Eye Center of Excellence!
Dry eye symptoms are not only annoying, but they can be an indicator of something much more serious. If you suffer from this condition, there are many options for treatment to help you find relief. For dry eye treatment in Boynton Beach, call us at 561-737-4040 to set up an appointment today!