Dry Eye Treatment

What is Dry Eye Syndrome?

Patients complaining of dry eye syndrome is one of the leading conditions ophthalmologist treat today.  Did you know that over 10 million people in America alone suffer from dry eye syndrome? The most common problem for dry eyes is caused by a problem with the quality of the tear film that lubricates one’s eyes.

Tears are created in several glands around the eyes the tears are produced in the lacrimal gland which is located under the upper eyelid. You have other smaller glands in the eyelids that make mucus and oil layers. Every time you blink the eyelid coats the eye with tears lubricating the eye, keeping it moist and excess tears flow into tiny drainage ducts in the corner of the eye close to your nose. The ducts close to the nose are connected to you nasal passages. This connection between your tear ducts and your nasal passages is the reason you get a runny nose whenever you cry.

There are many causes of dry eye syndrome, the most common reasons for dry eyes is the normal aging process.  When we age our bodies produce fewer oils. Many people notice this in the skin as you get older your skin is has fewer oils to keep it soft. This is noticed more in women who tend to have much drier skin than men. It’s this oil deficiency that also affects the tear film, when there isn’t much oil the tear film that covers the eye evaporates much faster which generates dry areas on the cornea. Other factors of dry eye syndrome can be contributed to dry hot climates, living at higher altitudes, cigarette smoke and air conditioning.  Many people experience dry eyes when they read or when looking at computer monitors. It is important to stop and rest your eyes by blinking the eyes to lubricate the eyes.

Many contact lens wearers suffer dry eyes because the contact lens absorbs the tear film. It is important to lubricate your eyes when wearing contact lenses. Some women have problems with dry eyes as they enter menopause because of hormonal changes. Many medications, thyroid conditions, and some people with vitamin A deficiencies can experience dry eyes.

What Are the Symptoms of Dry Eyes:

  • Irritation
  • Itching
  • Redness
  • Burning
  • Tearing
  • Blurred vision
  • Discomfort after reading, working on the computer and watching television


How to Treat Dry Eyes?

Many times simple changes in your lifestyles can have significant improvements.  Quitting smoking or simply drinking more water can help improve the irritation that comes with dry eyes. Excessive rubbing of the eyes can worsen irritation. When reading, working on the computer or watching television try to make a conscious effort to blink more frequently. This will help keep the eye more lubricated and wet, which in return will help keep your eyes more comfortable.

If you suffer from dry eye syndrome, it is important to see an experienced ophthalmologist.  Your doctor will determine the cause of your dry eye issues by measuring your production and the evaporation rate of your tear film.  Everyone’s eyes are different and treating dry eyes is different depending on the cause. Many times patients find simple relief from simply using artificial tear drops.  There are several different types of artificial tears some are watery and only relieve the symptoms for short periods of time. Others are thicker and last longer on the eye. Normally preservative free tears are optimal as they feel more soothing and have fewer additives that could cause irritation in the eye.

Dr. Anthony O. Roberts treats clients with dry eye syndrome and other eye conditions.

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Call our office at (301) 279-0600!

Dry Eye – Understanding the Structure of Tears

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Understanding the structure of tears is important in order to understand how the tears and tear film provide the eye with a number of specialized functions. Our tears are formed by tiny glands that surround the eye. Tears are comprised of three layers: oil, water, and mucous. The lower mucous layer serves as an anchor for the tear film and helps it adhere to the cornea. The middle layer is comprised of water and the outer layer seals the tear film and prevents evaporation. The tear film serves several purposes. It keeps the eye moist, creates a smooth surface for light to pass through the eye, nourishes the front of the eye, and provides protection from injury and infection. When we blink, the eyelids smooth and spread the tear film so that it is uniform across the surface of the cornea. Excess tears flow out of the eye into two tiny ducts, which then drain into the nasal passage.

TearLab – Accredited Dry Eye Center

Dry Eye - Tearlab CenterShady Grove Ophthalmology now offers an accredited Dry Eye Center dedicated to providing the highest quality of dry eye care using advanced ophthalmic diagnostic techniques and treatments. TearLab aids in accurate and early detection of Dry Eye Disease. Dr. Roberts can monitor disease severity and can intervene early in the disease process. This process helps in customization of prescribed therapies that work for each individual patient.

Dry Eye Questionnaire

You can help Dr. Roberts by bringing a completed copy of the TEARLAB Dry Eye Questionnaire to your next appointment and ask, “What’s My Number?