Dry Eyes

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Dry eye syndrome is a lack of sufficient lubrication affecting the cornea and conjunctiva (mucous membrane that lines the visible part of the eye and the inner surface of the eyelid). Symptoms include persistent dryness, itching and burning in your eyes, the feeling of a foreign body sensation in the eye and sometimes watery eyes due to over stimulation of the tear producing glands.

The lack of sufficient moisture, besides causing discomfort, creates problems for your eyes because tears wash out dust and debris, keep the eyes moist and bathe the eyes with enzymes that neutralize the microorganisms that colonize the eye. Reduced tear production hinders these activities which can affect the health of your eyes.

Causes

Dry eye syndrome occurs when the tear producing glands don’t produce enough tears or the composition of the tears allows them to evaporate too quickly. This can occur from any or a combination of the following:

  • the aging process, especially during menopause
  • side effects of many medications including antihistamines, antidepressants, birth control pills and others
  • environmental factors such as windy and dusty climates
  • prolonged tasks that lead to insufficient blinking such as staring at a computer screen
  • symptoms of other diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome, lupus or allergies
  • long term contact lens wear or improperly fitted contact lenses
  • incomplete closure of the eyelid

During your exam, we will determine the possible causes of your dry eye syndrome and recommend a treatment plan.

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