Your eyes rely on the flow of tears – a combination of water; oils, mucus, antibodies, and special proteins. These tears provide moisture and lubrication to not only maintain comfort, but also proper vision. When tears are not being consistently produced, a person may experience Dry Eyes.
Dry eyes can be caused by several different scenarios, including:
- An imbalance in the tear-flow system of the eye
- A structural problem with the eyelid, which doesn’t allow it to close properly
- Natural aging
- Side effects of certain drugs
- Diseases that affect the eye, such as Blepharitis, Mebomian Gland Disease, Dysfunctional Tear Syndrome, Sjögren’s Syndrome, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Collagen Vascular Diseases
Signs and Symptoms of Dry Eyes
- Sensitivity to light
- A gritty sensation
- Feeling like ‘something’ is in the eye
- Blurred vision / Blurry vision
- Varying vision clarity.
If you feel you may be experiencing any of the above symptoms, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor as soon as possible. While there is no cure for dry eyes, there are several treatment methods that can be taken to alleviate the symptoms of dry eyes.
Dry Eyes Treatment
- Artificial Tears: Available over-the-counter, tear drops are one of the easiest and most popular treatment methods for dry eyes.
- Punctal Occlusion (Temporary and Permanent): Temporary punctual occlusion involves the temporary plugging of the ducts that drain tears out of the eye. If this proves to be successful in providing an adequate supply of tears, permanent punctual occlusion may be an option. And, as you may have guessed, permanent punctual occlusion is the permanent plugging of the tear drains (though plugs can be removed by your eye doctor).
- Medication: Medications, such as daily doses of Restasis can greatly improve the quality of life for a patient with Dry Eye. In cases of uncontrolled Dry Eye, topical steroids may be used temporarily to bring the tear film to a healthy and stable state.
- Surgery: The ducts that drain tears into the nose can be permanently closed to allow more tears to remain around the eye.
To learn more about Dry Eyes or Proper Eye Health, please contact board certified ophthalmologist Dr. Samuel Boles, consultative optometrist Dr. Nathan Frank, and the eye care specialists at Anne Arundel Eye Center by calling 410-224-2010 or click here to visit AnneArundelEyeCenter.com.
Located in Annapolis, Maryland, the Anne Arundel Eye Center offers comprehensive specialized ophthalmic exams as well as diagnostic pre and post-surgical eye care. Specializing in glaucoma and cataracts, Dr. Boles has helped restore and preserve thousands of patients’ vision.
Vision problems may be a natural part of aging. Losing your vision doesn’t have to be.
For more eye care advice and information, please take a look at our previous blog posts.