ZocdocAnswersShould I just buy some eye drops for my dry eyes?

Question

Should I just buy some eye drops for my dry eyes?

I don't wear contacts or glasses or anything, but my eyes are dry all the time. Should I see a doctor about this? Is it serious or should I just by eye drops as the drug store?

Answer

Dry eyes are obviously caused by a lack of adequate tears when the lacrimal gland or associated glands near the eye fail to produce enough tears. It is an ongoing condition that may not be completely curable depending on the cause. Since I am not able to establish the cause of your dry eyes without a comprehensive medical history and exam, I suggest that you see a doctor. In general, if your dry eye syndrome is due to a decreased tear production or excessive tear evaporation to keep them comfortably lubricated, you can use artificial teardrops such as eye drops as the primary treatment. On the other hand, if your eyes dry out while you sleep due to improper closure of eyelids, you can use a thicker lubricant such as ointment. Dry eyes can be a temporary cause of hormonal fluctuations, medications or environmental factors. Dry eyes also are a symptom of an underlying disease which is serious that a prompt diagnosis is essential. Diseases that affect the ability to make tears are autoimmune diseases (i.e., lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or Sjogren's syndrome, etc.) as well as other systematic diseases. There are a number of other causes of dry eyes that I would recommend you to seek help from a primary care doctor who may refer you to an eye doctor.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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