October 8, 2023
Healthy tears are needed to keep the front of your eyes comfortable, seeing well, and healthy. Our tears are made up of three layers, known as the tear film, which includes the oily outer layer, the watery middle layer, and the inner mucus layer. Every time you blink, the tear film is distributed on your eyes’ front surface. Dry eye syndrome affects the tears that cover the front of your eye. This condition is affected by many conditions, such as older age, environment, medications, and medical conditions.
There are two main types of dry eye syndrome:
Aqueous Deficient Dry Eye
When our tear glands do not produce enough tears to lubricate the eye
Evaporative Dry Eye
Not enough outer oily layer causes the middle water layer to evaporate.
What Are the Symptoms of Dry Eye?
Dry eye syndrome is a very common and chronic problem that most often affects adults. The most common symptoms of dry eye syndrome include:
What Causes Dry Eye Syndrome?
Dry eye syndrome is caused by many factors. Many people are susceptible to dry eye, but you’re more likely to have dry eye syndrome if you:
How Do I Get Diagnosed With Dry Eye Syndrome?
Dry eye syndrome can be diagnosed at your annual comprehensive eye examination. Be sure to tell your doctor the symptoms you’re experiencing. Your doctor will:
What Is the Treatment for Dry Eye Syndrome?
Dry eye syndrome is often a chronic condition that requires long-term treatment that should be included in your daily routine. The goal of treatment is to maintain balanced and healthy tears, which in turn improves comfort to your eyes. Treatment strategies include:
Prevention is key! Eating a balanced diet, wearing sunglasses to prevent wind and sun exposure, staying hydrated throughout the day, and supplementing your eyes with artificial tears before you experience symptoms of dry eye all will help reduce the symptoms of dry eye syndrome.
At your next eye exam, be sure to discuss your dry eye symptoms, so your doctor can properly advise you on how to improve those symptoms.
– By Farah O. Gulaid, OD, FAAO | Optometrist, Asst. Professor | Source: WebMed
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