What is Dry Eye
Tears are a product our body makes to lubricate, clean, and maintain our eyes. When something goes wrong in that process, it causes dry eye. Sometimes, our bodies don’t create enough tears. Other times, our tears aren’t formulated properly, causing the moisture to evaporate too quickly from the surface of the eye. Either way, we’re left feeling irritated and uncomfortable.
Dry eye is more than just an annoyance. Without appropriate lubrication, your eye can become inflamed and sometimes permanently damaged. If your eyes feel consistently dry, it’s important to see an optometrist.
Symptoms of Dry Eye
- Gritty sensation
- Sensitivity to light
- Aching, burning, or dry sensation
- Heavy or fatigued eyes
- Blurry vision
Wake Family Eye Care Specializes in Dry Eye
When you’re suffering the constant discomfort of dry eye, it’s hard to focus on anything else. That’s why we specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of dry eye. We take a special interest in all the most recent discoveries in dry eye treatment so we can give you the most effective solution, restoring your comfort.
Finding the Cause of Dry Eye With Meibography
Meibum is an oil, secreted through the meibomian glands, which keeps your tears from evaporating too quickly. In order to accurately treat dry eye, we need to examine your meibomian glands and make sure they’re functioning properly. We do this with a process called meibography. Using a special kind of magnification, we’ll take a close look at these glands, searching for any indication of blockage or engorgement.
Treating Dry Eye
These eye drops are designed to simulate tears, and can be purchased without a prescription. Artificial tears offer temporary relief from dry eye symptoms, but probably won’t be of much help in the long term. Still, you may want to try artificial tears as a short term solution.
Medicated Eye Drops
Your optometrist may give you a prescription for eye drops. Instead of just acting as tears do, this medication can actually stimulate your body’s natural tear production. Taking these drops daily may be the key to long term relief from your dry eye symptoms. These kinds of eye drops are not available over the counter – you will need a prescription.
This slow release lubricant comes in the form of a very small solid tablet. The tablet is inserted under the lower eyelid and slowly dissolves throughout the day; providing daily relief from dry eye. This treatment is usually recommended for patients with moderate to severe dry eye symptoms.
Because dry eye is often the result of tears evaporating too quickly, plugging the tear drainage ducts can sometimes solve the problem. Punctal plugs are implanted in the tear drainage ducts, allowing tears to evaporate naturally, and alleviating dry eye symptoms. If the patient finds their eyes are now watering too much, the plugs can be removed.