primary eye care

What is The Cause of My Dry Eyes?

Young man suffering from dry eyes

Have dry eyes? You aren’t alone! Dry eye syndrome is one of the most common eye conditions people suffer from.

This could be due to the large number of factors that can contribute to the problem. The issues that cause dry eye patients to suffer from the disease can be divided into two categories.

The first is issues with making tears and the second is issues with the quality of tears. In some severe cases, dry eye patients may suffer from both simultaneously. Keep reading to find out what may be causing your dry eyes!

What are the Symptoms of Dry Eyes?

The symptoms of dry eye vary and depend on the patient. You may experience some symptoms and you may not experience other symptoms. Common symptoms include:

Causes of Tear Production Problems

When the eyes don’t produce enough tears, your eyes can’t get the proper nutrition or hydration. This leads to the eyes being unable to function as they should.

Prolonged malnourishment of the eye can lead to dry eye symptoms getting worse. It can even cause the problem to feed off itself, making the dry eye perpetually degrade.

If your eye doctor at Vision Care of Maine determines that your dry eye is due to a lack of tears being produced you may need to:

Whatever the answer to your dry eye is, our ophthalmologists will help you find it!

Causes of Tear Quality Problems

Water is not the only thing that your tears need. If your tears have the proper balance, they will have water, oil, and mucus.

Tears missing any of these components will likely lead to problems with tear quality. Tear quality usually occurs because there is not enough oil in the tears. Oil is crucial to the longevity of your tears, as it prevents them from evaporating.

Meibomian gland disorder is the most common cause of oil-producing issues in the eyes. The meibomian glands are in the eyelids and coat tears with oil as they are brought to the surface of the eye.

Over time, these glands may become blocked with dirt and a waxy substance. This prevents them from working the right way. To unblock them, you may need a special medical therapy.

Meibomian gland expression involves the use of gentle heat and pulsating pressure. This allows the meibomian glands to carefully open up and then get cleared out.

The therapy is short and painless. In fact, some even describe it as relaxing!

Other Dry Eye Treatment Options

Sometimes one kind of treatment isn’t enough. When preventative measure fail, you may need to resort to one or more of the following to boost your tears.

Tired of living with the symptoms of dry eyes? The ophthalmologists at Vision Care of Maine are here to help! Request an appointment in Bangor, ME today!

Woman suffering from dry eyes

Not everyone can receive LASIK. To have the surgery, you need to pass a strict candidacy test to determine if the procedure is safe for you.

Some of the criteria include age, a reasonable prescription, stable vision, good health, pregnancy status, and the condition of your eyes. One condition that is particularly troublesome for LASIK hopefuls is dry eye syndrome.

Keep reading to find out if you can get LASIK if you have dry eye syndrome!

What is Dry Eye Syndrome?

You have likely experienced the symptoms of dry eye before. Common symptoms include itchiness, redness, excessive watering, and a gritty sensation in the eyes. When you experience these symptoms frequently and without obvious reason, it may be a chronic issue.

Dry eye can happen for two different reasons. The first is your eyes are not producing enough tears or the tears produced are low-quality.

Healthy tears should be made from three basic ingredients: Water, mucus, and oil. Water carries nutrients and hydration. Mucus allows the tear to spread evenly across the surface of the eye.

Oil stops the tear from evaporating too quickly. Most people who have tear quality problems are not producing enough oil.

Decreased tear production can be due to factors like aging, as a symptom of other conditions, or damage to your tear glands. It can also be a side effect of laser surgery such as LASIK, though this is usually temporary.

The reason LASIK candidacy is affected by prior problems with dry eye is that the surgery severs nerves in the cornea. These nerves tell the eye to produce tears when it needs them.

If you are already suffering from dry eye due to other reasons, LASIK will only exacerbate the issue. This can lead to further problems with your dry eye.

You are also more likely to develop surgical complications during your recovery.

Dry Eye Syndrome Treatments

Treating your dry eye largely depends on what the underlying issue is. If you are underproducing tears, you may be prescribed medication to stimulate tear production.

You may receive inserts that block tears from draining or inserts that slowly dissolve and produce artificial tears.

If you aren’t producing enough oil for your tears, you may receive treatments to open up the oil-producing glands in your eyelids. These treatments can also help reduce inflammation.

It is not uncommon to combine dry eye treatments, especially if the case is particularly bad.

Prevention is also a key factor in treating dry eye. Environmental factors play a huge role in causing dry eye. Here are a few ways you can help your dry eye yourself:

To learn more about LASIK, set up a LASIK consultation at Vision Care of Maine in Bangor, ME!

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