Dry eye is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide.
In fact, it’s one of the most common reasons that patients schedule a visit with their eye doctor.
We’ve all had days when our eyes feel dry, tired, irritated., or tear excessively. But what if it persists?
What Is Dry Eye?
A healthy tear film is an essential element of good eye health, comfort and good vision.
A healthy tear film protects your eyes from infections and lubricates the eye’s surface, keeping it comfortable, while helping to wash away dust and debris. When the eye fails to produce a sufficient amount of tears, or good quality tears, “dry eye” is the result.
Dry eye is frequently a chronic problem–particularly in adults over age 35 – although it can occur in any age group.
Some causes of dry eye include:
- Aging – People begin to produce fewer tears and a lesser quality tear film, oftentimes beginning at about age 35. In many cases, this can worsen with hormonal changes caused by menopaus
- Certain medications such as antihistamines, birth control pills, antidepressants and some antibiotics may contribute significantly to dry eye.
- Inflammation in some other part of your body, whether due to injury or a chronic medical condition, can also create inflammation in the tear glands. When chronic inflammation occurs in the tear glands, an insufficient amount of tears, or a tear film of poor quality, may be the result.
- Infrequent blinking during activities involving concentrated focus, such as working on a laptop, iPad or smart device, reading, watching television or playing video games, can lead to dry eye symptoms.
- Certain medical treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation treatment can cause significant dry eye.
- Other illnesses are associated with dry eye, such as autoimmune disorders like Lupus, Sarcoid, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Celiac Disease & Psoriasis.
Experiencing dry eye can be uncomfortable and frustrating. While symptoms vary from patient to patient, they frequently include blurred vision, light sensitivity, itching and redness, a gritty feeling in the eye, or excessive tearing and watery eyes.
Excessive tearing can occur because the body attempts to overcompensate for the eye’s dryness and produces too many tears.
Sometimes, excessive tearing can be the result of a blockage in the tear duct. If this is suspected, Dr. Edwards can perform a brief test to determine if your tear duct is blocked and if so, to what extent.
Dry Eye Care
If you feel that your eyes are dry on a regular basis, or if you experience any of the symptoms noted above, schedule an appointment to see Dr. Edwards today. Based on the underlying cause of your dry eye symptoms, Dr. Edwards will be able to offer information and recommendtreatment options.
Our mission is to help you to experience your best vision and your best eye health and comfort.