Understanding Dry Eye Syndrome and Aging

December 1st, 2021

Here in Colorado, with very dry air and frequent strong winds, it may seem like dry eyes are just a fact of life. Our eye doctors in the Front Range at ICON Eyecare diagnose and treat dry eye for our patients, especially seniors who are more likely to experience it. Dry eye can lead to irritation or inflammation of the eyes. The problem is the tear film, a liquid layer that covers the surface of your eye, which becomes too thin to protect the eye. A visit to our eye doctors in Denver metro area can sort out which factors are involved in your dry eye situation and provide some appropriate relief. You’ll not only feel better, but you may also see better when the tear film on your eyes is restored.

Symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome

Irritation, pain, and burning sensations in the eyes are typical symptoms of dry eye. The surface of the eye may also feel gritty or scratchy, as if there’s something in the eye like grains of sand. Blurry vision can also occur. For severe cases, the surface of the eye can become damaged, and with it the quality of the person’s vision.

Factors Involved with Dry Eye Syndrome Development in Seniors

Dehydration is always a consideration in dry eye, where the tear quality and quantity are not enough to keep the eyes protected. This can occur in dry, windy climates like ours here in Colorado, which is why our eye doctors in the Denver metro area consider climate and UV sunlight exposure as potential factors in many eye conditions here. Certain medical conditions can lead to dry eye, from rheumatoid arthritis to thyroid syndrome and even allergies.

Many Medications Can Contribute to Dry Eye

Medications can inhibit the production of tears, just as they sometimes lead to “dry mouth.” Blood pressure medicines, antihistamines, antidepressants and medications for Parkinson’s disease can all contribute to the condition, as can many other common medications. Our eye doctors in the Front Range will review your medical history and current medication list to help them understand if medical conditions or treatment may contribute to dry eye.

Treatment to Give Comfort and Help Resolve Dry Eye

Over-the-counter artificial tears are the most common answer to dry eyes, used as needed. Seniors may want help aiming the drops properly. Having an eye doctor block the tear ducts where tears drain, using tiny plugs, can help in some cases. Prescription medications are available, and some people find Omega-3 fatty acid supplements help. For inflammation of the eyes due to dry eye, there are many treatments our eye doctors in the Denver metro area can offer. Most of all, drinking enough water is important.

Regular Eye Exams and Vision Care for Everyone

At ICON Eyecare, we care for everyone’s eyes with regular exams, specialist visits, and high-quality cataract and LASIK surgery in the Denver metro area. Our eye doctors in the Front Range can help provide relief from your dry eye issues. Give us a call today to schedule your exam or get an eye concern checked out, especially important for seniors.