Your tears make the surface of your eyes smooth and optically clear. The three layers that make up the normal tear film each have important functions that are necessary for good vision.
The outer oily layer is the first “lens” or optical surface that allows light to pass through when entering the eye.
The middle watery layer helps keep the eye moist and works to flush away debris.
The inner mucus layer serves as a reservoir for the eye’s natural defenses against inflammation and infection.
What Are The Symptoms Of Dry Eyes?
Patients who have dry eyes may experience a multitude of symptoms, including burning sensations and redness; a feeling of scratchiness or gravel in the eyes; vision that fluctuates when blinking; contact lens discomfort; excessive tearing. Symptoms usually get worse when the patient is in dry or windy environments; following prolonged periods of reading; while taking certain medications; or when spending time in heated or air-conditioned areas.
What Causes Dry Eyes?
Dry eyes occur when there are not enough natural tears produced or when the tears that are produced do not function properly. Dry spots form on the outer surfaces of the eye in either situation. In most cases, there is no underlying disorder that causes the dry eye, but in some cases, the dryness is linked with allergies, thyroid disease, arthritis, or other connective tissue disorders.
What Are The Treatments For Dry Eyes?
Although there is no cure for chronic dry eyes, the tear film can be supplemented to furnish the comfort that naturally produced tears provide. Artificial tears (either drops or ointment) are quite effective in treating dry eyes. Patients can also benefit from using humidifiers in their home or office, as well as side shields on their glasses. Spectacle lenses should be treated to protect the surface of the eye from harmful ultraviolet and infrared radiation. In many cases, temporary or permanent closure of the tear drains helps preserve the natural moisture layer of the eye. In severe cases of dry eyes, a combination of all these treatment options may be necessary to provide relief.
Exciting New Treatment For Dry Eyes
Punctal plugs have recently been introduced as a novel treatment for severe dry eyes. The tiny plug fits in the tear duct, unseen and unfelt, and helps the tear layer of the lower lid rise to normal, more comfortable levels. Talk to your doctor to find out if you may be a candidate for this punctal plugs.
Persons Over The Age Of 50 Should See An Eye Care Professional Every Year.
Our board-certified Optometrists and Ophthalmologists are standing by, ready to offer personal care and state-of-the-art technology. Schedule your appointment today by calling (865) 584-0905.