If you are a little older or have been wearing contacts for several years, you may notice that there are times when your eyes feel noticeably dry. It may result in irritation, a sensation of itching or burning as a result of inadequate lubrication. Unfortunately, dry eye doesn’t just make you uncomfortable. If left untreated, severe dry eye can lead to inflammation and result in permanent scarring to the frontal surface of the eye. To avoid this, it is important to understand the causes of dry eye.
Why Do I Have Dry Eyes?
According to the American Optometric Association, several factors might make you more susceptible to developing dry eye syndrome. Age, sex, medications, medical conditions, and environmental conditions are all factors that could contribute as causes of dry eye..
Older people and females are both more likely to experience a decrease in tear production. In women, this usually results from hormonal changes brought on by pregnancy, birth control, and menopause. People who regularly use antihistamines, blood pressure medications, and antidepressants are also more likely to experience dry eye.
Some risk factors include:
- Long term contact usage
- Lasik eye surgery
- Exposure to dry climates
Thanks to this long list of potential contributing elements, dry eye syndromes are very common. Don’t write it off though. Rather, it means that optometrists and other medical professionals have had plenty of experience formulating effective treatment paths.
How Do You Treat Dry Eyes?
If you start to notice that your symptoms are becoming regular and aren’t easily treated with eye drops, then you need to speak with your optometrist. They may be able to prescribe a more effective eye drop solution, but this won’t be enough in some cases. For patients with chronic dry eye that is not well-regulated with prescription eye drops, surgery may be necessary.
In cases where the tear duct is blocked, lacrimal system surgery can be used to clear the blockage and promote normal tear production. The appropriateness can vary, as not all dry eye cases have physical blockage as a cause. However, if your optometrist suggests that you would benefit from surgery, then you will need a surgeon who specializes in working on the sensitive tissues in and around the eye socket.
Dr. Christopher Zoumalan is a board-certified cosmetic surgeon who specializes in eyelid and tear duct procedures. As a professional familiar with both the cosmetic desires of patients and their medical needs, his skills combine to give you the best results.
What Does Lacrimal System Surgery Entail?
When performing a lacrimal system surgery, your surgeon will first locate the source of the obstruction. If it is a canalicular obstruction, then your surgeon will choose to bypass or recanalize the obstruction. In some cases, a more complex obstruction may require the placement of a minuscule glass tube. Called a Jones tube, it is placed between the tear lake and nasal cavity. If the obstruction is located in the nasolacrimal duct, it is normally bypassed by creating a channel between the lacrimal sac and the nasal cavity. This procedure can be performed from the outside or from inside the nose.
Both procedures serve as outpatient surgeries, but the patient will need a reliable ride home. You will need a few hours to recover from sedation, and you should expect some nose bleeding for the first few days. Be sure to follow your surgeon’s instructions. So, this helps avoid complications. Therefore, you should make a full recovery in about a week. The recovery period may be slightly longer for patients who elect to have a Jones tube put in place, as it will require regular patient maintenance.