Dry Eyes occur when a person’s tears are unable to provide enough dampness to keep them properly moist. Tears can be insufficient for several reasons. For instance, Dry Eyes can develop if you can’t generate enough tears or sometimes if you make less-quality tears. Anyone who frequently deals with Dry Eyes will tell you they’re uncomfortable and irritating. If you suffer from Dry Eyes, they may burn or sting. Some people experience dry eyes only under certain circumstances such as when they’re in an air-conditioned room, on an airplane, while bike riding, and staring at a computer screen or television set for too long.
Getting treatment for Dry Eyes will likely make your eyes feel significantly better. Some of these treatments may include eye drops or certain lifestyle changes. For more severe cases of Dry Eyes, another option may be to visit Dr. David O’Day, M.D. at Charleston Cornea & Refractive Surgery for a complete eye exam and diagnosis. To learn more about Dry Eye treatment click here.
Symptoms and signs, which generally involve both eyes, could possibly include:
- Scratchy, burning, or stinging sensation in the eyes
- Blurry vision, especially after focusing for a long time and progressively worsening as the day goes on
- Stringy mucus around or in the eyes
- Bouts of excessive tearing
- Increased irritation to the eyes from wind or smoke
- Trouble wearing contact lenses
- Chronic eye fatigue
- Feeling a sensation of something in the eyes
- Eye redness
- Sensitivity to light
Dry Eyes is basically caused due to a lack of enough tears. Your eye tears are an intricate combination of water, mucus, and fatty oils. This combination helps make your eye surface clear and smooth, while protecting them from getting infected.
In some cases, Dry Eyes is caused by an imbalance of your tear’s composition, while other individuals don’t generate enough tears in order to keep both their eyes lubricated enough and therefore comfortable. Other factors that can lead to Dry Eyes include problems with eyelids, medications, pollutants, and other environmental factors as well.
A person’s tear film consists of three primary layers: water, mucus, and oil. Issues with any one of these layers can produce symptoms for dry eyes.
- Water: The layer in the middle is mostly made of water with just a small amount of salt. This middle layer, which is generated by the tear glands, works to clean your eyes and wash away any irritants or foreign debris. If the eye doesn’t generate enough water, the mucous and oil layers can literally touch one another and thus produce a stringy discharge.
- Mucus: Mucus resides in the inner layer and helps evenly spread tears across the entire surface of the eyes. If there’s not enough mucus to adequately cover the eyes, dry areas can develop on the cornea, or in the front area of the eye’s surface.
- Oil: The outer most layer of the eye’s tear film, generated by tiny glands along the edge of the eyelids, have fatty oils known as lipids. These work to smooth out the tear surface as well as decrease the evaporation of the watery middle layer. If the oil glands fail to generate enough oil for the eye, the watery layer will evaporate too fast, thus causing Dry Eyes. Dry Eyes are quite common in individuals who have clogged meibomian glands. Dysfunctional Meibomian occurs more in people who suffer from inflammation on the edge of the eyelids, Rosacea, and other significant skin conditions.
No matter what your vision-related issues are, it is crucial to have a skilled, caring, and trusted health care provider. If you live in Mount Pleasant, North Charleston, and Myrtle Beach SC or surrounding areas, consider visiting Charleston Cornea & Refractive Surgery for help with a variety of vision-related issues including Dry Eyes. Call us at (843) 856-5275 for more information.