DRY EYE

WHAT IS DRY EYE?

Some people do not produce enough tears making their eyes very uncomfortable.

Tears are produced by two different methods. One method produces tears at a very slow rate and is responsible for tear lubrication. The other method produces a large quantity of tears in response to irritation or emotions.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

The usual symptoms are:

  • Stinging or burning eyes
  • Scratchiness
  • Eye irritation from smoke or wind
  • Excess tearing
  • Difficulty in wearing contact lenses

Excess tearing does not sound right, but if the tears responsible for maintaining lubrication do not keep the eye wet enough, the eye becomes irritated. This then causes the lacrimal gland to produce large volumes of tears. These tears then overflow from your eye.

WHAT CAUSES DRY EYE?

Tear production normally decreases with age. Dry eye can occur in both males and females at any age. Dry eye can also be associated with arthritis and accompanied by dry mouth. A wide variety of medication can cause dry eye. Be sure to tell your optometrist if you are using any medications, especially:

  • Diuretics, Beta blockers, Antihistamines, Sleeping Pills, Medication for Nerves, Pain Relievers.
  • Sitting staring at a computer all day long.
  • Vitamin A deficiency is rare, but can also have effects on the eyes.

HOW IS DRY EYE DIAGNOSED?

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms contact your optometrist. He or she can check on the severity of the Dry Eye and prescribe the correct eye method of treatment.

HOW IS DRY EYE TREATED?

Eye drops can be prescribed. These are similar to your own tears. They will lubricate and help maintain moisture in your eyes.

Anything that may cause dry eyes, such as overly warm rooms, air conditioning, hair dryers, wind, smoky rooms, etc. should be avoided.

Tear Film has three layers:

  • Oily layer – smooths surface & reduces evaporation.
  • Watery layer – cleans the eye.
  • Mucus layer – Allows watery layer to spread.