First, it is important to are aware that our tears are very important once and for all vision. The first thing light hits in the event it reaches your eye is the tear film on the surface of your respective cornea. The cornea is similar to leading window towards the eye and also the tears are similar to a polish on that window. With each blink, the eyelid spread an even layer of tears throughout the cornea. This light will then be focused through the cornea and lens on the retina, forming a photo. When the tears dry out on the cornea, they leave a bumpy, irregular surface that distorts the light getting into a person’s eye and makes all the image blurry. If the tears are continually drying out between blinks, the top of the cornea becomes constantly irregular on account of dead and dying corneal surface cells. This often triggers a reflex to produce a lot of tears, so many that our tear drain product is overwhelmed as well as the tears drain down our face. When we see this within the clinic, we diagnose dry eyes.
Our tears include 3 components: oil, water and mucus. The watery part is created mainly inside the lacrimal gland that’s inside the upper outer portion of our eye socket under the upper eyelid. There may also be many smaller glands for the insides of our own eyelids. The skin around the inside of our own eyelids makes mucus and rows of glands on our eyelid margins, just behind the eyelashes, increase the risk for oil. All three of these components have to be present in the right amounts to make tears work. Without water, the tears gum up and you get eye matter. Without oil, the tears dry up very rapidly between blinks. Without mucus, the tears are too thin and cover a person’s eye well.
This brings us to the causes of dry eyes:
Lack of tear production. This happens as a result of age, inflammation in the tear glands (for example in Sj?�gren syndrome ), hormonal changes causing less production and lack of reflex tearing.
Excessive tear evaporation. Excessive evaporation may appear due to tears having insufficient oil (usually because of blockage in the oil ducts) instead of blinking enough (common
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Eyelid problems that prevent the tears from being where correctly. Eyelid problems also cause dry eye. These include poor blink because of a facial nerve problem (i.e. Bell’s palsy, facial or head injury), eyelid deformities, eyes not closing after over-aggressive eyelid lifting, and in times when your eye area protrude, like thyroid eye disease.
So what might be done regarding it?
Get properly diagnosed by an ophthalmologist that knows dry eyes. They will do that by considering up your eyes having a microscope, analyzing your tears with special drops and other tests, and considering the health of the corneal surface. They may also examine the eyelids to ensure you blink and close a person’s eye appropriately.
Use artificial tears. Nearly all types of dry eyes take advantage of extra tears. They need to be used often, at the very least 4 times daily or more to each and every 10-30 minutes in severe cases. There are many different viscosities of tears. The thicker they’re, the longer they’ll last, but thicker tears often blur the vision for a time after they’re given. Tear ointments may also be helpful, especially in the evening as they possibly can significantly blur the vision when used in daytime.
Keep your natural tears around longer. Plugs that block off the tear drains in your eyelids could keep you from swallowing away all of the tears because they drain into your nose. In more severe cases, we very often permanently close off the tear drains, that may greatly improve the eye surface. Your natural tears can be enhanced through omega-3 supplements.
Practice good eyelid hygiene. Warm compresses for the eyelids to helps oils to circulate out easier to the tears. Lid scrubs with mild baby shampoo and tepid to warm water along the eyelash margin will likely keep the oil flowing and make matter from accumulating inside eyelashes.
Prevent excess evaporation. Blocking out moving air is able to reduce evaporative tear loss. This is done by wearing close fitting sunglasses in the daytime as well as special moisture goggles to bed during the night. Avoid sleeping under a ceiling fan or blowing air conditioning at your eyes while driving.
Reduce or eliminate contacts wear. Contact lens wearers can use tears or “re-wetting solution” to hold your eye area more moist and improve lens wear comfort. Never wear them overnight and clean them often, it doesn’t matter what the lens manufacturers say.
In special cases, treat inflammation. In a small number of individuals with inflammation with the tear producing glands, eye drops like Restasis might help produce more tears. In my view, this prescription medication is over-prescribed within this country and few patients truly get a benefit from it, so caveat emptor.
Dry eye is usual and annoying, but could be readily treated and might increase your vision and overall eye comfort.