Dry Eye Disease
Tears are necessary for maintaining the health of the front surface of the eye and for providing clear vision. Tears provide lubrication, reduce the risk of eye infection, wash away foreign matter in the eye, and keep the surface of the eyes smooth and clear.
What is Dry Eye?
Dry Eye is one of the most prevalent eye conditions affecting vision quality and eye comfort. Symptoms of Dry Eye can vary widely from patient to patient. People with Dry Eye may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Dry, gritty, or itchy sensation
- Light sensitivity
- Visual fluctuation
- Watery eyes
Dry eye is a serious condition that can dramatically affect your vision and eye health. Untreated dry eye can
- Increase your risk of eye infections
- Lead to the damage of the surface of your eye
- Make it difficult to see and perform daily tasks
- Cause contact lens discomfort and intolerance
What causes Dry Eye?
Dry eye can be influenced by several factors related to the environment and health that determine tear quality.
Decreased Tear Production
You may develop dry eyes due to decreased tear production naturally as you age. But you can also have this uncomfortable condition due to:
- Extended periods of screen time
- Pollution or smoke in your environment
- Allergies or Allergy medication
- Taking certain medications
- Pregnancy or hormones
- Certain diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disease, lupus, or others
Increased Tear Evaporation
Increased tear evaporation means that you probably have enough tears, but they don’t effectively lubricate your eyes. This can happen due to both environmental factors (wind, pollution, dry air) and physical factors (eyelid problems).
Imbalance In Tear Composition
Our tears are made from oil, water, and mucus. If there’s an imbalance in these layers, your vision and comfort of your eyes may be affected. For example, if your oil glands (meibomian glands) become clogged, your tears might not have enough oil to adequately lubricate your eyes, and your tears may evaporate too quickly and cause symptoms ranging from discomfort to extra tear production and poor quality of vision.
Dry eyes can be a chronic condition, and depending on symptoms, treatment may be conservative and step-wise, or more aggressive. Each case of Dry Eye is unique and we consider the factors causing your dry eye as well as your tear quality to develop a custom dry eye treatment plan. Management considerations for Dry Eye include artificial tears/lubricant drops which provide short-term relief of symptoms. Other options include prescription anti-inflammatory drops and in-office obstruction removal with medical devices like The TearCare® System.
Whether you occasionally have dry eyes or suffer from dryness daily, schedule a dry eye evaluation with us. Book your visit online or call the office directly.