The eyes depend on a consistent of tears to provide consistent moisture and lubrication to keep vision and support. Tears are a mixture of water, for moisture, oils, for lubrication; mucus, for even spreading; and antibodies and special proteins, for defense from infection. These parts are secreted by special glands located around the eye, When there is an imbalance in this tear system, a person may encounter dry eyes.
When tears do not adequately lubricate the eye, a person may experience:
- Light Sensitivity
- Blurring of Vision
- A feeling of a foreign Body or sand in the eye
- A gritty sensation
Sometimes, a person with a dry eye will have excess tears running the checks, which may seem perplexing. This can happen when the eye is not getting enough lubrication. The eye sends a distress signal through the nervous system for additional lubrication. They send a signal fo discomfort throughout the nervous system for extra lubrication. In the response, the eye is immersed with tears to try to offset for the underlying dryness. Those tears are mostly water and do not produce the lubrication elements that eye needs or the rich combination of healthy tears. They will wash debris away, but they it will not cover the eye surface suitably.
What Causes Dry Eyes?
In addition to an irregularity in the tear-flow system of the eye, dry eyes can be caused by conditions that dry out the tear film. Dry eyes can be caused by dry air fro heat, air conditioning, or environmental conditions. Other conditions that may be caused dry eyes are;
Structural problems with the eyelids that do not allow them to close properly.
Diseases that affect the ability to make tears such as Sjogren’s
Natural aging process, specifically menopause
How Are Dry Eyes Treated?
Although dry eyes can not be cured, there are are some steps that can be taken to treat dry eyes. You should discuss treatment alternatives with an eye care specialist. Treatment for dry eyes may include:
Artificial tear drops and ointments – The use of artificial teardrops is the primary treatment for dye eye. Artificial teardrops are available over the counter. Teardrops are diverse, and no on one tear drop will work for everyone, so you might have to research to find the drop that works for you. If someone has chronic dry eye, it is critical to use the drops even when your eyes fell fin, to keep them lubricated. If your eyes dry out when you are asleep, you can use a thicker lubricant such as an ointment at night.
Temporary punctual occlusion On occasion it may be necessary to close the ducts that drain tears out of the eye. This may be done briefly with a dissolving stopper that is inserted into the tear drain or the lower eyelid to determine whether permanent plugs can provide an adequate supply of tears.
Non-dissolving punctual stoppers and punctual occlusion by cautery (Using heat to apply to tear exit duct) If temporarily stopping the tear drains works well, the longer-lasting stoppers or cautery can be used. These actions increase the tear amount by obstructing the “drainpipe” through which tears normally exit the eye and enter the nose. The stopper can be easily removed. These stoppers do not come out spontaneously or migrate down the tear drain. Many patients with particularly bothersome dry eyes find that the stopper or surgical occlusion (category) improve comfort and decrease the need for artificial tears.
Lipiflow- this is a medical device that uses heat and pressure on the eyelid to unclog blocked glands. These glands provide oil as part of the tear film. The oil lubricates the eye and prevents the tears formed evaporating
Restasis This is a prescription eye drop that is FDA approved for chronic dye eye. This is the only prescription eye drop that can help the eyes increase their tear production with continued use.
Other medication and nutritional Other medication including steroids eye drops, can be used for short periods of time as an adjunct to other long-term measures. There is also increased evidence that growing oil intake of fish oil and omega-3 via diet or supplement are very efficient to those suffering from dry eye.