Dry Eyes

Neil H. Simmons, O.D.

Optometrist located in Leake County, Carthage, MS

If you’re one of the nearly 5 million people over the age of 50 in the United States who suffer from dry eye, take heart: Much can be done to offset this often uncomfortable eye condition. At Neil H. Simmons, O.D., Dr. Simmons routinely helps his patients in the Leake County, Mississippi, area successfully treat dry eye, making up for what nature is failing to provide: proper lubrication for your eyes. To restore hydration to your eyes, call or book an appointment online.

Dry Eyes Q & A

What is dry eye?

The tears you shed do far more than express pain or sadness. In fact, the glands around your eyes are constantly at work, producing tears that hydrate and protect your eyes against bacteria and other foreign matter. As your glands produce these tears, your eyelids blink to spread the fluid over your eye. The excess fluid is then drained away into the back of your nose.

In dry eye, this system is off balance because of an inadequate production of tears or poor quality of tears. When it comes to the quality of your tears, your glands may be producing enough, but the balance of water, oil, and mucus in your tears may be skewed, causing the water to evaporate too quickly.

What causes dry eye?

The most common contributors to dry eye are:

  • Age
  • Gender (more likely in women due to hormonal changes)
  • Medications, such as antihistamines and decongestants
  • Environmental conditions such as smoke, wind, and low humidity
  • Failure to blink, especially when staring at a screen
  • Longtime contact lens use

What are the symptoms of dry eye?

While the condition is aptly named and encompasses the main symptom, dry eyes, other hallmarks of the condition include:

  • Itching
  • Scratchy or burning eyes
  • A gritty feeling on the surface of your eyes
  • Blurred vision

Oddly enough, another symptom is excessive tearing, which is your body’s way of responding to dry eyes, but this offers only a temporary fix, and you should see Dr. Simmons for long-term treatment.

How is dry eye treated?

Once Dr. Simmons performs a comprehensive examination of your eyes, he recommends a treatment plan to best fit your situation.

If your dry eye is due to a lack of tears, Dr. Simmons typically recommends over-the-counter lubricants that “add” tears to your eyes, or a prescription medication to increase tear production. If your dry eye isn’t resolved, Dr. Simmons may take measures to block your tear ducts in order to prolong the amount of time the tears stay on your eyes.

Dr. Simmons also arms you with a list of recommendations that you can do at home that make a big impact, such as blinking more often or wearing protective lenses in windy conditions.

If dry eyes are affecting your ability to see clearly or your quality of life, call the Neil H. Simmons, O.D., practice or schedule an appointment using the online booking tool.