Some people do not produce enough tears or the appropriate quality of tears to keep the eye healthy and comfortable. This is known as dry eye.
Dry Eye Symptoms
- Red eyes
- Foreign Body Sensation
- Sandy / Gritty feeling
- Light Sensitivity
- Watery / Tearing eyes
- Contact lens discomfort
- Eye soreness
- Arthritis / Joint pain
Tears are produced by two different methods. Tears can be formed at a slow steady rate and are responsible for normal eye lubrication. Large quantities of tears can also be produced in response to eye irritation or emotions.
Tears that lubricate are constantly produced by a healthy eye. Excessive tearing occurs when the eye is irritated by a foreign body, dryness or when a person cries.
What Causes Dry Eye?
Tear production normally decreases as we age. Although dry eye can occur in both men and women at any age, women are most often affected. This is especially true after menopause.
A wide variety of common medications can cause dry eye by reducing tear secretion. Be sure to tell our doctor the names of all the medications you are taking, especially beta-blockers, antihistamines, sleeping pills, medications for “nerves” or pain relievers.
How are Dry Eyes Treated?
Since many of the medications that can cause dry eyes are necessary, the use of “artificial tears” may be recommended. These eye drops are similar to your own tears. They lubricate the eyes and help maintain moisture.
Conserving your eyes’ own tears is another approach to keeping the eyes moist. Tears drain out of the eye through a small channel into the nose.
Your doctor may close these channels with punctal plugs. The closure conserves your own tears and makes artificial tears last longer.
If you suffer from these or other uncomfortable symptoms of dry eye… we can help!