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Dry eye is an extremely common condition that can cause a lot of discomfort. Dry eye symptoms can be triggered by a huge variety of causes, which is why it’s important to address them with a professional as soon as you first start feeling the symptoms.
Let’s discuss what dry eye is, what symptoms you need to look for, what causes it, and how it can be treated.
What You Should Know About Dry Eye
Dry eye is a condition that affects your tear film, which consists of three layers of tears that cover and protect the surface of your eyes. To be able to see clearly and comfortably, you need a stable and smooth tear film. If there are any disruptions in your tear film, it can cause itching, burning, blurred or watering vision.
These are the symptoms of dry eye to look out for:
- Feeling sensitive to light
- Mucus that comes out of your eye
- Blurred or changed vision
- Burning or stinging
- Watery eyes
The Most Common Causes of Dry Eye Symptoms
Dry eye can be difficult to find the root cause of because there are so many complex risk factors that can trigger it. It’s essential to see a professional who will be able to assist you in finding the underlying cause, as some of them can be serious and need immediate attention.
Meibomian Gland Dysfunction
Meibomian gland dysfunction is a group of disorders that are linked by functional abnormalities of the meibomian glands. It can lead to altered tear film composition, ocular surface disease, and evaporative dry eye.
There are certain medications that have a side effect of dry eye.
- Certain Heart Medications
- Birth Control Pills
- Ulcer Medications
Dry eye is often associated with autoimmune conditions.
You may find yourself with dry eye if you have:
- Sjogren’s Disease
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Grave’s Disease
Impact of Contact Lenses
Wearing contact lenses can dry your eyes out because the thin layer of contact lens material on your cornea limits oxygen flow to the eyes. Without a steady flow of oxygen, it’s more difficult for your eyes to create natural tears.
Hormonal changes can cause dry eye, especially in women after menopause and during pregnancy. The changing levels of estrogen and progesterone can affect the meibomian gland, leading to dryness and irritation.
Dry eye is common with allergies because the allergic reaction causes inflammation in the area of the eye that can reduce tear production.
Treatment Options for Dry Eye
TearCare at Specialty Eye Institute
TearCare is a wearable eyelid technology that offers lasting relief from chronic dry eye caused by Meibomian Gland Dysfunction.
Your eye doctor will place flexible eyelid devices on the contours of your eyelids, fitting them to the unique shape. Combined with SmartLid technology and eye blinking, the device applies low heat to unclog the meibomian glands and increase your meibum production. This procedure will be repeated each year or biannually until the ideal tear production is achieved.
This pain-free, open-eye procedure is:
- Takes 15 minutes or less
Artificial Tear Drops
Artificial tear drops are the most common type of treatment. You will need to find the right product for you and apply it regularly, even when your eyes feel fine. If your eyes dry out at night, you will want to consider a thicker product, like an ointment.
Temporal Punctal Occlusion
Temporal punctal occlusion is when your doctor closes the punctum, which is the duct that drains tears from your eye. Typically, they will start with a temporary plug that is designed to dissolve over time to see if a permanent plug is right for you.
Nondissolving Punctal Plugs and Punctal Occlusion By Cautery
If your temporary plugs help your condition, your doctor may choose to insert a longer-lasting plug or a procedure called cautery. With cautery, a special tool will be used to burn the opening for your duct shut to create a permanent plug through the scar.
Dry eye symptoms can be related to a lack of testosterone in the oil glands on your eyelids. In this case, your doctor may give you testosterone cream to apply to your eyelids to help your oil glands function better.
Get Dry Eye Relief From Specialty Eye Institute
Are you suffering from dry eye? Don’t hesitate to reach out to our knowledgeable team at Specialty Eye Institute. When it comes to eye health, it’s crucial to find care that you can rely on. We’re here to help, whether you need dry eye treatment, more serious procedures like a corneal transplant, or just a routine eye exam.
We are utterly dedicated to providing exceptional service and treatment each and every time you visit. At Specialty Eye Institute, our core values include:
- Patient-Centered Advocate
Don’t hesitate with your eye health. Call Us Today or schedule an appointment on our website.