What is Dry Eye?
Tears that lubricate the eye are constantly being produced in a healthy eye. An adequate amount of tears is essential for comfortable eye, good vision, and good eye health. However, some people do not produce enough tears to keep the eye comfortable. This is known as dry eye. Dr. Chen and Dr. Lee will be able to diagnose dry eye by examining your eyes.
What are the symptoms of dry eye?
The usual symptoms include stinging or burning eyes, scratchiness, tired eye, stringy mucus in or around the eyes, eye irritation from smoke or wind, excess tearing, difficulty wearing contact lenses.
What causes dry eye?
There are many possible reasons for developing dry eyes. The most common reason is age related. Tear production normally decreases as we age. Although dry eye can occur in both man and women at any age, women are most often affected. This is especially true after menopause.
A wide variety of common medications, prescription and over-the-counter, can also cause dry eyes by reducing the tear secretion. These medications include: diurectics, beta-blockers, antihistamines, sleeping pills, anxiety medications, and pain reliever.
Dry eye can also be associated with arthritis and accompanied by a dry mouth. People with dry eyes, dry mouth, and arthritis may have Sjogren's syndrome.
If my eyes are tearing, why could it be dry?
Excessive tearing from "dry eye" may sound illogical, but if the tears responsible for keeping the eyes moist is not sufficient, the eyes can become irritated. When the eye is irritated, the lacrimal gland produces reflex tears which overwhelms the tear drainage system. These excess tears then overflow from the eyes leading to the tearing. The reflex tearing is similar to when someone gets a foreign body in the eye. When this happens, the eyes get irritated and he/she then develops tearing..
What are some of the more common treatment options for dry eye?
- Artificial tears
- Punctal Plugs
- Autologous Serum Eyedrops
If you are interested in finding out more and want a consultation for dry eye, please call and schedule an appointment to see either Dr. Sandy Chen or Dr. Alexander Lee.