• Dry eyes and watering eyes

  • Answers to questions about “dry eye”

  • In medical terms, Dry Eye is a disorder  known as “Sicca Keratitis”. The tear film consists of 3 distinct layers. A superficial oily layer which prevents evaporation, a middle water based layer which contributes 90% of the tear film and has good proteins and nourishes the eye and a deep mucus layer which helps in spreading  the tears over the cornea. Dry eye happens when one of these layers is altered.
  • Tear production can be best improved by the use of medications such as Xiidra or Restasis.  Eye drops for the most part do nothing but make you feel better  Treatment is often continued for life to maintain tear production. It is possible in some cases to reduce usage.
  • Control of ocular inflammation and infection through the topical application of an antibiotic-steroid preparation. Occasionally antibiotics may be given orally.

    Watery Eyes are a Symptom of Dry Eye?

    Yes! It sounds odd but it is. When the surface is irritated the eye will water and cry. As odd as it sounds, many Dry Eye sufferers experience ‘wet eyes’. These are reflex tears to try and “wash away” what is irritating the eye.

  • People blink less while reading, watching TV or computer activity, the rate of eyelids blinking reduces and this causes the tears to evaporate leading to redness and dryness of the eyes. This can and will happen in some people when they are tired, or have spent long hours watching TV or computers. This increased evaporation causes fatigue and eye strain.

    Our doctors will review your history and examine your eyes and determine the cause for your Dry Eyes.

  • What else can cause Dry Eye?

    Environmental and climatic conditions are a contributor to Dry Eye. When tear production decreases is it often a reaction to dust and pollen as these stay in the eye longer and stimulate an allergic response. These make an irritated eye more irritated.

    Blepharitis or eyelid infections can often cause Dry Eye symptoms. This is due to inflammation of the eye lid margins, which is caused by a number of organisms from bacterial infection by Staphylococci to Demodex a type of dust mite. This condition will affect the quality of the tear film because the bacteria produces waste material that cause a toxic reaction, chronic red, irritated eyes.

    LASIK or PRK refractive surgery temporarily disrupts the ocular nerves that provide a feedback loop to the lacrimal glands and affects the surface/lacrimal gland unit. Most times this condition usually will eventually resolve.

    Certain diseases are associated with Dry Eyes. These include rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, asthma, thyroid disease, lupus are the more notable but not a comprehensive list.

    Age – Studies have shown that tear volume decreases decreases by as much as 60% by age 65. Dry Eye Syndrome affects 65% of people over age 65 and a higher percentage over age 70..

    Hormonal changes for both men and women can cause decreased tear production. Pregnancy, lactation, menstruation, and post menopause have also been implicated as risk factors associated with dry eye syndrome.

    Coffee drinking, smoking, wearing contact lenses, air-conditioning or heated rooms can also cause dry eye symptoms.

  • People with Dry Eye have symptoms often complaining of sandy-gritty irritation and burning sensation and watery eyes. People may have symptoms intermittently.Symptoms often become more constant. If someone has sandy-gritty irritation or burning that gets worse as the day goes on, and if they have had these symptoms for more than a few days, Dry Eye should be ruled out by our eye doctor.

    Our doctors will review your history and examine your eyes and determine the cause for your Dry Eyes.

  • Dry Eye syndrome is not intermittent in the early stages of the condition, or with mild Dry Eye, you may only have symptoms while exposed to long computer hours or dusty environment. Patients may notice symptoms and discomfort only when they wear contact lenses.

  • If dry eye remains untreated it will progress to a more irritable, troublesome  and can cause considerable damage to the external part of the eye and lead to loss of vision  due to corneal scarring. Delaying treatment is not recommended. Patients who experience corneal scarring  may end up having corneal transplants to restore vision.

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