What Is Dry Eye?

What Is Dry Eye?

Dry eye occurs when not enough tears are produced, or the tears that are produced are of poor quality. Tears help keep the front of the eye healthy and smooth to maintain good vision and comfort. Dry eye is commonly a chronic condition.
Dry Eye Syndrome causes:

  • Medications (antidepressants, birth control pills, antihistamines, decongestants, certain blood pressure medications, hormone replacement)
  • Medical conditions (Autoimmune disease, Diabetes, Thyroid disorders, Rosacea)
  • Menopause and Pregnancy
  • Increasing age
  • Environment (dry climates, fans, air conditioning, smoking, extended computer use)
  • Blepharitis and Meibomian Gland Dysfunction are common causes for dry eye. The inflammation along the lid margin causes the Meibomian glands to function poorly and not produce the correct tear components causing the tear layer to evaporate quicker. Routinely using hot compresses and scrubbing the eye lids allows the glands to function better and reduce dry eye symptoms.

Dry Eye Symptoms:

  • Stinging, burning and itching
  • Redness
  • A sandy or gritty feeling, or feeling like something is in the eye
  • Blurred vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Eye fatigue
  • Excess watering/tearing
  • Eye pain
  • Contact lens irritation/intolerance

Dry Eye Treatments:

  • Lubricating drops and ointments
  • Warm compresses and eyelid scrubs
  • Fish oil/Omega 3 supplements
  • Adjust or eliminate medications that have side effects of dry eye
  • Increase humidity in dry environments with a humidifier
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Take breaks when using the computer and blinking more often
  • Prescription drops to decrease inflammation or increase tear production (Restasis)
  • Punctal plugs (these slow the drainage of your tears)
Dry eye treatment will be tailored specifically to your eyes. Our eye care providers can diagnose the type of dry eye you have and what treatment is most appropriate.