Did you know that your eyes are full of tears even when you are not crying? You will experience a gritty or stinging sensation, as well as redness in your eyes if you have dry eyes. These tears provide lubrication and moisture to help keep your eyes comfortable and help you see.
What Are Tears?
Tears are a mix of oils for lubrication, water for moisture, and mucus for spreading. They also contain special proteins and antibodies to prevent infection. These ingredients come from special tear glands around the eye.
When you experience dry eyes, it may mean that your tear production system is out of whack. In addition to redness and a gritty, stinging sensation, you will notice other symptoms. These include sensitivity to light, blurry vision, and the feeling like there is a foreign object in your eye.
Sometimes, however, this eye condition can create too many tears. Known as reflex tearing, the condition happens when the lack of moisture leads to irritation of the eye. This irritation sends a distress signal through your nervous system, which triggers the release of a flood of tears to address the dryness. These tears, however, are mostly water; therefore, they do not perform like normal tears. Rather than coating the surface of your eye, they simply wash debris away.
Causes Of Dry Eye
Sometimes, your tear-flow system lacks balance. Other times, things around you, such as your heater or air conditioner, could dry out your eyes. Other causes of dry eye include:
- The natural aging process.
- Problems that prevent your eyelids from closing the way they should.
- The side effects of certain drugs, such as antihistamines.
- Conditions that affect your ability to produce tears, such as collagen vascular diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, and Sjogren’s syndrome.
How To Treat Dry Eye
Artificial Tear Drops
There are several treatment options for dry eye. Your eye doctor will recommend the right option for you. One of the most common treatments is ointments and artificial teardrops. You will find many types of over-the-counter drops. No one type of teardrops will work for everyone. Before you determine the ones that are right for you, you might have to try few options.
If you suffer from chronic dry eye, you will probably need to use your teardrops even when you are feeling fine. If your eyes tend to dry out while sleeping, you should use a thicker product at night, such as an eye ointment. Some people even sleep with airtight goggles on. They create a small moisture space for your eyes.
Other treatment options for dry eye include:
- Temporary punctual occlusion, to close the duct or punctum that drains tears from your eye.
- Punctual occlusion, by the application of heat to the tear exit duct.
- Non-dissolving punctual plugs.
- Lipiflow, which uses pressure and heat to unblock tear glands on your eyelids.
- Testosterone cream, to improve the function of your oil glands.
- Adding omega-3 or fish oil to your diet.
To learn more about the causes and treatment for dry eye, visit Village Optical at our office in New Hyde Park, New York. You can also call (516) 352-2316 to schedule an appointment.