Dry Eye Diagnosis and Dry Eye Treatment in Westlake
Dry eye is a condition where your body does not produce enough quality tears to lubricate and nourish your eyes. Tears are essential to maintain the health of the front surface of your eye, known as the cornea, and for clear vision. Dry eye is common and can even be a chronic problem, especially for older adults.
What You Need to Know about Dry Eye
Each time you blink your eyes, tears spread across your cornea. Tears lubricate your eyes, wash way foreign matter, reduce your risk for eye infection, and keep the surface of your eyes clear and smooth. Excess tears flow into small ducts at the inside corners of your eyelids and drain into the back of your nose.
Causes of Dry Eye
Dry eye occurs when there is an imbalance between tear production and drainage. If you suffer from dry eye, either your eyes do not produce enough tears or your tears are of poor quality.
Several glands in and around your eyes produce the tears. As you age, production tends to slow down. Certain medical conditions and medications can also slow tear production. Wind, dry climates and other environmental conditions can evaporate tears and dry out your eyes.
Poor tear quality can cause dry eyes. There are three layers to tears – oil, water and mucus – and each protects and nourishes the cornea in a different way. Oil slows evaporation of the water layer while mucus spreads the tears evenly over the corneal surface of your eye. Dry eye can develop if the tears do not spread evenly or if they evaporate too quickly.
The most common form of dry eyes is dry eye syndrome, according to the American Optometric Association. An inadequate water layer causes dry eye syndrome, also known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca.
Dry Eye Symptoms
Dry eye symptoms include irritated, burning eyes that feel gritty or scratchy. It may feel like something is in your eye. Dry eye may also cause excess watering and blurred vision. Advanced and severe cases of dry eye may even damage the cornea and affect your vision.
Our Westlake Optometrist Diagnoses and Treats Dry Eye
Our Westlake optometrist, Dr. Jeffrey Kovesdy, performs a comprehensive eye examination to develop a dry eye diagnoses and dry eye treatment. The eye doctor will examine your eyelids and cornea then measure the quantity and quality of your tears. Treatment will depend largely on the cause of your dry eyes. Treatment may include medicine for dry eye.
The goal of dry eye treatment is to restore or maintain the normal amount of tears in order to minimized dryness, relieve discomfort and protect the health of your eyes. The primary treatment approaches include adding tears with dry eye drops, conserving tears by blocking drainage ducts with tiny removable silicone or gel-like plugs, increasing tear production, dry eye medicine or other treatments that decrease inflammation around the eyes.
If your dry eyes bother you, make an appointment with our Westlake optometrist at Kovesdy Family Eyecare.