Dry eye results from decreased production of tears. Under normal circumstances, eyes produce tears which provide lubrication and keep eyes healthy. Tears consist of a mixture of oil, mucus, and water. Dry eye is a very common condition that is more prevalent as you get older. If you feel burning in your eyes, watering, grittiness, or feel uncomfortable while reading, operating a computer, or being outside, you may be suffering from dry eyes.
Eyes may become dry if tear production is reduced or if tears lack their necessary lubricating components. If you have dry eyes, you may feel pain with blinking due to friction between your eyelids and cornea, or front surface of your eye.
Typical signs and symptoms of dry eyes are:
Both males and females may develop dry eyes due to increasing age and hormonal changes. Insufficiency of any of the tear components e.g oil, water, or mucus, results in dry eye.
Some factors which increase the risk of dry eyes include increasing age, feminine gender, and vitamin A deficiency.
Other causes of dry eyes are:
Your ophthalmologist at Eye Surgeons Associates will perform a complete eye examination and appropriate testing to diagnose dry eye. These tests may include:
Dry eyes can typically be treated without surgery. Your ophthalmologist at Eye Surgeons Associates will first suggest you use artificial tear drops to increase lubrication. It may also be recommended to use lubricating gel in your eyes at bedtime.
Eye Surgeons Associates may offer alternative treatments options for your dry eyes if symptoms are persistent despite lubrication. One such option are punctal plugs, which are small, removable, silicone plugs that can be placed in the tear ducts of the eyes to decrease drainage of tears, therefore increasing lubrication.
Dry eye is a reversible condition. Avoiding certain situations may prevent the development or lessen the symptoms of dry eye:
If dry eye is left untreated it may result in eye infections, damage to the cornea, and decreased vision.
1- Dry eyes - Symptoms and causes. (2020, September 24). Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dry-eyes/symptoms-causes/syc-20371863
2- What Is Dry Eye? (2021, June 14). American Academy of Ophthalmology. https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-is-dry-eye
3- Foster, C. S., MD. (2021, July 29). Dry Eye Disease (Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca) Treatment & Management: Approach Considerations, Pharmacologic Therapy, In-Office Procedures, Eye Protection, and Other Interventions. Medscape.Com. https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1210417-treatment?src=mbl_msp_android&ref=share