What is Dry Eye?
Dry eye is a chronic condition in which the body does not produce enough quality tears to sufficiently lubricate the eye. Without tear lubrication, the eyes may become irritated, causing burning, itchiness and excessive watering. Patients with severe cases of dry eyes may actually experience vision impairments caused by inflammation and damage to the surface of the eye. Fortunately, New Optix Optometry dry eye treatments are available to help the eye produce more of its own natural tears and also manage inflammation.
Not only is the tear film quality important to maintain comfort through the day it plays an essential role in our vision. The tear film is made of three layers:
-A mucus layer (Inner layer. It helps the tears stick to the eye)
-A watery layer (Middle layer. This layer helps clean and wash away foreign objects that do not belong in the eye)
-An oil layer (Outer layer. This layer is produced by the meibomian glands and prevents the tears from evaporating quickly)
Symptoms of Dry Eyes include:
-Stinging and burning.
-Blurred vision (especially at computer and reading)
-Scratchy or gritty feeling (like sandpaper or eyelash in the eyes)
-Stringy mucus in or around eyes.
-Eyes are always red
-Excessive tearing (due to irritated surface of the eyes)
Did you know…
that dry eye is a very common condition among San Diego residents over age 50? The American Academy of Ophthalmology reports that nearly 4.9 million Americans over age 50 are suffering from dry eye, with women outnumbering men nearly 2 to 1. There are many reasons why people develop dry eye, including environmental conditions, the use of certain medications, and the long-term use of contact lenses.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I be treated for dry eye?
The only way of knowing whether you need treatment for dry eye is by visiting the doctors at New Optix Optometry for a diagnostic exam. Your New Optix Optometry eye doctor may recommend treatment if you are found to have abnormal tear production that is contributing to dryness on the surface of your eyes.
What should I expect during treatment for dry eye?
There are several ways of treating dry eye. Together with your optometrist, you will decide upon the treatment that best fits your needs. This may include supplementing your natural tears with artificial solutions that can be purchased at most drug stores over-the-counter. You may be prescribed a medication designed to increase natural tear production also. In-office procedures include warm compresses, meibomian gland expression, and Intense Pulsed light (IPL).