Dry Eye Facts
Dry eye occurs when your eyes don't produce enough tears to keep the eye working properly. Tears are needed to maintain heath to the front surface of the eye and keep vision clear. In addition, tears provide your eyes with lubrication, remove foreign matter, and reduce infection. Patients with dry eyes have an inadequate amount of tears or poor quality tears. It is often caused by medical conditions, medicines, aging, wind, dry weather, and tear layers.
Symptoms and Causes of Dry Eye
Dry eyes can make doing everyday tasks at home or work harder. The symptoms of dry are burning, irritation, scratchy, blurred vision, light sensitivity, and difficulty wearing your contact lenses. Did you know there are over 30 million men and women in the U.S. that suffer dry eye. The primary cause of dry eye is poor function of the meibomian glands in the eyelids. They produce an oily layer needed for healthy tears. These glands become blocked and cannot produce oil needed for healthy evaporation of your tears.
Testing of Dry Eye
When you come in to our Charlotte, Harrisburg (Rocky River) or Davidson office we will run some tests to determine whether you have dry eye. First, you will be given a comprehensive eye exam by our optometrists. There are several tests that our optometrists may perform to test your tear ducts, tear flow, and tear production which include:
The Schrimer's Test - During this test our optometrist will give you numbing drops which will prevent your eyes from watering, this measures the moisture in each eye.
The Epithelial Test - The doctor will give you drops with dye to see how quickly your tears dry up and if you have damage to the surface of the eye.
The Meibomian Gland Evaluation - This is where our optometrists take sample of your tears to test how your oil glands work.
LipiScan - The first dedicated high-definition gland imager that allows our eye doctors to assess meibomian gland structure.
Treatments for Dry Eyes
The doctor may recommend over the counter tear products or prescribe medications that help produce tears.
Some treatments include:
- Artificial tear solutions
- Silicone gel plugs
- Eye drops that increase tear production
- Prescription eye drops
- Eye surgery
Contact Our Charlotte, Harrisburg (Rocky River), or Davidson office for an appointment for dry eye evaluation.
Contact us at University Eye Associates by filling out the online form or calling one of our offices. Don't suffer with dry eye, we want to help you feel and see better.