Dry eye is a condition in which there are insufficient tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. Tears are necessary for maintaining the health of the front surface of the eye and for providing clear vision. People with dry eyes either do not produce enough tears or have a poor quality of tears. Dry eye is a common and often chronic problem, particularly in older adults.
With each blink of the eyelids, tears are spread across the front surface of the eye, known as the cornea. Tears provide lubrication, reduce the risk of eye infection, wash away foreign matter in the eye, and keep the surface of the eyes smooth and clear. Excess tears in the eyes flow into small drainage ducts, in the inner corners of the eyelids, which drain in the back of the nose.
Dry eyes can result from an improper balance of tear production and drainage, due to an inadequate amount of tears or poor quality of tears. The most common form of dry eyes is due to an inadequate amount of the water layer of tears. This condition, called keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), is also referred to as dry eye syndrome. People with dry eyes may experience symptoms of irritated, gritty, scratchy, or burning eyes, a feeling of something in their eyes, excess watering, and blurred vision. Advanced dry eyes may damage the front surface of the eye and impair vision.
Lubricants and medication can give temporary relief from the symptoms of dry eye. Tear Plugs, which are microscopic cylinders made of silicone, offer a more permanent solution. Tear Plugs are easily inserted into your eyelids where tears exit. This keeps more of your own tears on your eyes making them feel much more comfortable. Most people no longer need lubricating drops. Contact lens comfort and vision is improved as well. Tear Plugs are covered by most medical insurances. Ask about Tear Plugs at your next visit and get relief from Dry Eye.
Treatments for dry eyes aim to restore or maintain the normal amount of tears in the eye to minimize dryness and related discomfort and to maintain eye health.
Contact us today for more information or click here to schedule an appointment.
Source: American Optometric Association