Dry eye occurs when tears aren’t able to provide adequate moisture. To be more specific, it is a collection of symptoms caused by an imbalance in the quantity or quality of lubrication tears. These symptoms can include dry, red, gritty, and even watery eyes.
Often, dry eye sufferers report the feeling of something foreign in the eye, eye strain, fluctuating vision, or that eyes feel better closed. Often none of these symptoms are reported but there are complaints of unexplained poor night driving vision or computer vision issues. Luckily, the majority of health insurance companies cover treatment and office visits.
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How We Can Help With Dry Eye
As odd as it sounds, many dry eye sufferers can experience “wet eyes” because the tear glands overcompensate with reflex tears due to irritation. The moisture level of the eye is maintained by a balance of lubrication tear production, lid oil, and mucous. Natural tear loss occurs by drainage into openings in the eyelids and evaporation. When this balance is not sustained, dry spots appear on the surface of the eye. This can cause irritation and irregular vision. If these dry spots persist, an infection can develop in the eye. A lack of sufficient lubrication tears can frequently cause or worsen eye allergy symptoms.
There are many causes of dry eye. Some medications like antihistamines and medications for birth control, high blood pressure, and anxiety disorders can be aggravators. Environmental conditions such as low humidity and moving air currents can also aggravate these symptoms. One of the most common offenders is computer use. However, these are just some of the reasons people develop dry eyes.
Drops Might Not Be Enough
Our approach to helping you is to evaluate your eyes. Specifically the tear film and its composition over the eye. We do this in all our comprehensive exams. Our success in treating dry eye comes through a detailed history and evaluation of the tear components.
To us, using drops is just a band-aid. This doesn’t get to the root of the issue. It is important to note that if lubrication drops are to be used they should be preservative-free and free of blood vessel constrictors found in many popular over-the-counter drops.
Many of those with this condition are generally uncomfortable with their contact lenses. Proper treatment can make a considerable difference in contact lens comfort and length of wear. There are several therapies available to treat dry eye. These can include simple over the counter drops, various eyelid therapies to help promote lid oil, special drops to increase mucous production, prescription drops, or even occlusion of lid drainage to prevent drainage of good tears.