What is Dry Eye and What Can You Do to Make It Better?

According to the American Optometric Association (AMA), Dry Eye is a condition in which a person doesn’t produce enough tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. It is a common and chronic problem that often occurs in older adults. Tears are necessary for the overall health of the eye and for providing clear vision. With each blink of the eyelids, tears spread across the front surface of the eye, known as the cornea. Tears reduce the risk of eye infection, wash away dirt, and keeps the surface of the eyes smooth and clear.

This frustrating condition can make day to day activities like driving, reading and even watching television become difficult. People with dry eyes may experience symptoms such as, irritated, gritty, scratchy or burning eyes. They may also have a feeling of something in their eyes, excess watering, and blurred vision. People who often suffer from dry eye experience the production of excess tears. Advanced dry eyes may damage the front surface of the eye and impair vision.

Factors contributing to dry eye:

·         Age: The risk of dry eye increases with age

·         Medications: A variety of medications, including blood pressure medications, antihistamines, and psychiatric medications can reduce the ability to produce tears.

·         Eye Conditions: Certain medical conditions can cause dry eye or even a production of excess tears

·         Environmental Conditions: Factors such as the weather, usually windy or low humidity climates promote dry eye

Dry Eye can be diagnosed through comprehensive eye examination testing, evaluating the quantity and quality of tears produced by the eye.

Treatment of dry eye: The key to the treatment of dry eye is identifying any underlying causes or contributing factors and treat them directly. Using over-the-counter eye drops or medications, such as Restasis and artificial tears, are created to simulate the production of real tears. Omega-fatty acids from fish may also be recommended to do the same.

If you are, or think you may be suffering from dry eye, contact We Are Eyes in Boca Raton, FL at (561) 912-3211 or fill out our appointment request form online.