General

13
February 2019

Part 1: Knowing the Causes and Symptoms of Dry Eyes Syndrome

Dry eye syndrome is a chronic and typically progressive condition. It happens when tears evaporate too quickly, or if the eyes produce too few tears. It can affect one or both eyes and can lead to inflammation if not consulted a dry eye specialist soon. Depending upon its cause and severity, it may or may not be completely curable. It is more common to individuals where malnutrition results in a Vitamin A deficiency.

Causes

Dry eyes are caused by a lack of adequate tears. Your tears are a complex mixture of water, fatty oils, and mucus. This mixture helps make the surface of your eyes smooth and clear, and it helps protect your eyes from infection. For some people, the cause of dry eyes is decreased tear production. For others, it is increased tear evaporation and an imbalance in the makeup of your tears.

Decreased Tear Production

Dry eyes can occur when you’re unable to produce enough tears. Common causes of decreased tear production include:

  • Aging
  • Medical conditions like diabetes, thyroid, vitamin A deficiency
  • Tear gland damage

Increased Tear Evaporation

Common causes of increased tear evaporation include:

  • Wind, smoke, or dry air
  • Blinking less often while reading, driving, or working on the computer
  • Eyelid problems

Imbalance in Tear Composition

Problem with any of the layers of the three basic layers of eyes – oil, water, mucus can cause dry eyes.

Symptoms

A patient with dry eye syndrome may experience a range of symptoms like:

  • stinging or burning sensation
  • feeling like sand in the eye
  • stringy mucus in or around the eyes
  • eye sensitivity to wind or smoke
  • pain or redness of the eyes
  • inability to cry
  • temporary blurred vision or eye fatigue
  • sensitivity to light
  • difficulty wearing contact lenses

Types of Dry Eyes

There are two types of dry eyes:

Aqueous Tear-Deficient Dry Eye: The eyes’ lacrimal glands fail to produce enough of the middle aqueous layer of tears, resulting in low tear production.

Evaporative Dry Eye: The eyes’ meibomian glands do not produce a strong outer lipid layer of tears, resulting in tears that evaporate too quickly.

Dry Eye Syndrome can be managed with over-the-counter remedies, medical interventions, and self-care methods. Maintaining good communication with your eye care professional can help you to learn how to minimize any discomfort and maintain proper eye health. Florida Eye Care Associates is one such dry eye clinic in Miami that has the latest eye care technology and delivers fantastic services.

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