Dry eye can cause many symptoms including redness, burning, tearing, itching, or blurry vision. Our optometrists at EYECARE for You, are experts in the field of dry eye. If you have dry eye, they will determine the best treatment plan for you, which may include eye drops, hot compresses, or advanced therapies.
Causes of Dry Eye
There are many causes of dry eye. These include age, hormonal changes, long periods of screen time, allergies, dry indoor environments, contact lenses, and previous LASIK surgery. Medications and systemic diseases can also lead to dry eye. Medications that may cause dryness include antihistamines, antidepressants, blood pressure medications, and some acne medications. Systemic diseases that may cause dry eye include Sjogren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Graves’ disease, and diabetes.
Types of Dry Eye
Our tears are made up of three layers - a mucin layer, a water (aqueous) layer, and an oil layer. Dry eye can be caused by a problem with the oil layer (evaporative dry eye) or the water layer (aqueous deficiency dry eye), or both.
Evaporative Dry Eye / Meibomian Gland Dysfunction
Over 80% of dry eye is due to a problem with the oil layer which causes the tears to evaporate too quickly. This is due to meibomian gland dysfunction. Meibomian glands are glands in the eyelids that help produce the oil part of the tear film. Often times, the meibomian can become clogged, which affects the quality of the tears and makes them evaporate too quickly leading to dryness.
Aqueous deficiency dry eye
The less common type of dry eye is called aqueous deficiency dry eye. This occurs when the lacrimal gland does not produce enough tears.
Symptoms of Dry Eye
- Tearing / watery eyes
- Gritty or foreign body sensation
- Light sensitivity
Dry Eye Treatment
At EYECARE for You, our optometrists specialize in the treatment of dry eye. Artificial tears may relieve symptoms temporarily, but they do not treat the underlying cause of the dry eye. Our optometrists will evaluate your eyes to determine the type of dry eye you have and recommend the appropriate treatments. These may include prescription medications, home therapies, such as using a hot compress and taking an omega-3 supplement, and in advanced in-office treatments, such as Lipiflow, Low Level Light Therapy, Intense Pulsed Light, and Radiofrequency.
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