How a Specialist Can Help Relieve Your Dry Eyes
Dry eye is fairly common and is a result of the eye not being sufficiently lubricated. Normally, basal tears provide continuous lubrication and flow across the cornea every time the eye blinks. These tears also help to nourish cells in the cornea and offer protection from the environment.
Basal tears are made up of three layers, the outer lipid layer, the middle aqueous layer, and the inner mucin layer. If the composition of the tears becomes imbalanced, the amount produced starts to decrease, or they begin to evaporate faster, dry eye can occur.
Symptoms of dry eye can include pain, redness, scratchy eyes, stinging, burning, eye irritation or feeling like something is in your eye that you can’t remove, and potentially discharge and blurred vision.
What Causes Dry Eyes?
There are a variety of things that may be contributing to your dry eyes. Consult with an eye care specialist to help determine the cause and develop a treatment plan.
- Medication – A variety of different over-the-counter and prescription medications can impact your eyes, including antihistamines, decongestants, beta-blockers, and antidepressants.
- Age – As we grow older, our tear production begins to decline. Dry eyes are more common in those over 50, and the majority of people over 65 experience symptoms.
- Gender – Dry eyes are more likely to occur in women due to the hormonal changes they experience during pregnancy, by taking oral contraceptives, and through menopause.
- Environment – If you live somewhere that is dry, smoky, or windy, the outdoor climate can contribute to your dry eye symptoms.
- Contact Lenses – Wearing your contacts for too long can begin to irritate your eyes and cause them to get dry. Also, long-term use of contacts even when worn properly may lead to dry eyes over time if you don’t give your eyes a break and wear your glasses every so often.
- Activities – Whether you work somewhere that involves a computer screen or you choose to spend your recreational time in front of one, looking at a screen reduces the frequency that you blink. The same can be applied to phone and tablet screens. When you blink less, you don’t give the basal tears the opportunity to coat your eye.
- Illnesses – Certain illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and Sjögren’s syndrome are all associated with dry eyes.
- Eye Conditions – When you have a condition affecting your eye or eyelid, it will often cause your eyes to become dry. Some of these conditions include blepharitis (swollen or red eyelids), entropion (turned in eyelids), and ectropion (turned out eyelids).
Specialist Treatment at Uptown Eye Specialists
At our Dry Eye Clinic, we have a team of eye care professionals who work with patients to direct them to the correct treatment and therapies for their specific type of dry eye. Using our advanced tear film diagnostic tools, further testing, and a dry eye impact questionnaire, we can track progress for each individual’s treatment.
Our clinic uses the UltraView DEL (dry eye laser) to treat the cause of dry eyes. Natural, safe and effective, most patients reduce or eliminate the need for eyedrops or dry eye medications altogether.