Dry Eye

Woman Rubbing Eyes

What is Dry Eye?

Dry eye is a condition which refers to an inadequate tear film on the surface of the eye. Dry eye is a common and often chronic problem, particularly in older adults. Dry eyes can occur when tear production and drainage is not in balance. There are many factors that contribute to dry eye, including age, gender, environmental factors, medications, and other medical conditions.

What is Dry Eye?

Dry eye is a condition which refers to an inadequate tear film on the surface of the eye. Dry eye is a common and often chronic problem, particularly in older adults. Dry eyes can occur when tear production and drainage is not in balance. There are many factors that contribute to dry eye, including age, gender, environmental factors, medications, and other medical conditions.

Symptoms

The symptoms of Dry Eye are commonly:

Chart Illustrating a Healthy Eye Compared to One Experiencing Dry Eye

Causes

Dry eyes are caused by a variety of reasons that disrupt the healthy tear film. Your tear film has three layers: fatty oils, aqueous fluid and mucus. This combination normally keeps the surface of your eyes lubricated, smooth and clear. Problems with any of these layers can cause dry eyes.

Treatment

Woman Putting in Eye Drops

Treatments for Dry Eye vary depending on which layers of the tear film are primarily deficient and may be specifically designed for each individual patient. Treatment typically begins with over-the-counter artificial tears, but may also include oral Omega-3 supplements, prescription eye drops to increase tear production, punctal plugs to slow drainage of the natural tears, antibiotics and/or hygiene regimens to treat dysfunction of the oil glands or surgery.

Sometimes the blockage is too extensive and should be treated with newly available procedures that allow liquification of the oil and expression of the contents of the glands. These procedures can allow improvement of symptoms for a year after a single treatment.

The management of dry eye can vary significantly from patient to patient, and we have more treatment choices than ever before.

To be evaluated for Dry Eye and determine what treatment program will be the most appropriate for you, please call us today at 301-681-6600 to schedule an appointment, or click the button below to fill out our online form.

Maryland Eye Consultants
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