Dry Eyes affect eye comfort as well as your vision!
Do you ever wonder if you could have Dry Eye Syndrome? You've seen the ads on TV and you wonder if the drops might help you. Some of the symptoms that could be caused by Dry Eye Syndrome include:
- A stinging, burning or scratchy sensation in your eyes
- Stringy mucus in or around your eyes
- Sensitivity to light
- Eye redness
- A sensation of having something in your eyes
- Difficulty wearing contact lenses
- Difficulty with nighttime driving
- Watery eyes, which is the body's response to the irritation of dry eyes
- Blurred vision or eye fatigue
In addition to discomfort and fluctuating vision, dry eyes can lead to styes and infection.
Regular eye examinations can prevent complications and provide the opportunity for you to get help with treatment.
If you have dry eyes, you may notice that the discomfort worsens as the day progresses. Air conditioning, smoke, drafts, and cold temperatures become difficult to tolerate.
What's Going On? Normal tear film consists of three layers: mucin, aqueous, and lipid (the oily outer layer of the tear film). Abnormalities in production, content, or distribution of these three layers or in eyelid function will cause the various conditions commonly known as dry eye.
• Lipid Problems: These are the most common cause of dry eye. Glands in the eyelid produce lipids. Greasy lotions, incomplete removal of makeup, or skin conditions like dandruff can plug the glands and prevent lipids from secreting. Luckily, inadequate lipid production can be addressed in a variety of ways.
• Aqueous Deficiency: This can be a side effect of certain medications you're taking. The culprits include antihistamines, diuretics, hormones, and psychotropics.
• Mucin Deficiency: Chronic infection or trauma to the eye can cause a lack of mucin. Autoimmune diseases can negatively effect the mucin layer too.
• Eyelid Problems: If the eyelid turns in or out as a result of aging or scarring, then tears can spill over the eyelid, allowing the eye to become dry. This problem may be able to be treated with plastic surgery. Also, dry eye can be aggravated by inflammation of the eyelid margin. In this case, the lid where the eyelashes attach, will be red and irregular.
No one treatment for dry eye has proven completely successful. A combination of the following may improve comfort: good eyelid hygiene, the use of artificial tears and lubricating ointments, newer agents designed to heal tissue such as Cyclosporine, and supplements. Dr. Wrightnour will evaluate your individual situation to determine what the very best course of treatment will be for your dry eyes.
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