Dry Eyes FAQ
What are dry eyes?
Special glands by your eyes supply tears — made of water, lubricating oils, mucus, and antibodies — that keep your eyes healthy. If you have dry eyes, it usually means you aren’t producing enough of this fluid, making your eyes vulnerable to discomfort and infection. You may have a poor quantity or quality of tears.
Why are my eyes “dry?”
You may simply have a tear-flow drain that’s out of balance. An eye-irritating environment, such as excessive heat, air conditioning, or smoke, can dry out your tear film, too. Dr. Surti will evaluate other possible causes for your eye dryness, including the natural aging process, drug side effects, autoimmune disease, and eyelids that don’t close the way they should. Thyroid conditions, diabetes, and long term use of contact lenses may also be to blame. Women are more likely to develop dry eyes than men.
What are the symptoms?
Dry eyes may feel gritty and itchy due to lack of lubrication. The dryness can cause redness, light sensitivity, or blurry vision.
It seems counterintuitive, but in some people dry eyes actually over tear. This is because your body is trying to overcompensate for the lack of moisture that’s irritating your eyes. Your body sends lots of tears to correct the problem, but they’re made mostly of water so they don’t offer the real support you need from natural tears.
How are dry eyes treated?
Often, prescription ointments and artificial tears take care of the problem. In some cases, additional treatment may be needed. Here are some common treatments for dry eye:
- Restasis: Prescription eye drops can help increase your eyes’ ability to produce natural tears.
- Punctal Plugs: This treatment preserves the tears the patient already has. This is done by blocking the tear ducts with punctal plugs temporarily or permanently to prevent drainage and retain the tears. This is a simple in office, painless procedure
- PROKERA: This state-of-the-art treatment for dry eyes heals the surface of your cornea. It’s similar to a contact lens, and it’s inserted and removed in the office. In a recent patient survey, 93% of respondents said their dry eye symptoms improved with PROKERA. It’s approved by the FDA and heals your eyes quickly with minimal pain and inflammation.
- Nutrition: Numerous studies have shown that Omega-3 fatty acids can help protect against dry eye syndrome. These fatty acids may also help increase proper drainage of intraocular fluid from the eye.
What is Blepharitis?
Blepharitis occurs when bacteria and oily flakes at the base of the eyelash cause the eyelids to turn red and swell. The condition is common among individuals who have oily skin, dandruff, or dry eyes. Sometimes problems with oil glands in the eyelids can lead to blepharitis.
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