Tears keep your eyes moisturized to maintain your visual clarity and comfort. They also help wash away debris, dust and other foreign matter, preventing irritations and infections. When you don’t produce enough tears or they have inconsistent compositions, you may develop dry eye syndrome. Your expert eye doctor from Guilford Eye Center talks about this problem in detail.
Types and Causes
Your tear film has three main sections. Lipids comprise the outermost region, which is responsible for preventing your tears from rapidly evaporating. The middle section is mainly composed of water that helps maintain lubrication while the innermost layer is made of mucus, which helps spread your tears evenly across your eyes.
Dry eye disease is generally classified into two categories: evaporative and aqueous. The former happens when your meibomian glands fail to produce enough oil or lipids, resulting in fast tear evaporation. The latter, on the other hand, occurs when the amount of tears produced is not enough to keep your eyes moisturized all day long. We may perform an eye exam to determine which type of dry eyes you have, which will help guide us in creating your treatment plan.
Risk Factors and Typical Symptoms
Older individuals, particularly women, are at a high risk of having dry eyes because of the hormonal changes that may happen over time. Smoking and using your blue light-emitting devices for an extended period may also make you more likely to have this problem. Your eyes may turn red, itchy and watery when you have this condition. You may also feel a sandy or gritty sensation, and you might even have a hard time applying or removing your contact lenses.
If you have any of these risk factors or manifestations, head to your trusted eye clinic immediately. We may perform a specialized dry eye test, which involves measuring your lipid layer thickness and blink rate or completeness. We may include applying artificial tear drops in your care plan to help improve your visual health and comfort. We may also suggest using a specialized contact lens solution or wearing your eyeglasses in the meantime. For more severe cases, we may advise inserting punctal plugs to prevent your tears from draining incessantly.
Call us today at (336) 387-6777, or complete our form to learn more about dry eyes and proper management. We serve Greensboro and the surrounding NC areas.