Dry Eye Syndrome is a very common condition, affecting millions of Americans every year. Dry eye symptoms can be extremely frustrating and sometimes even unbearable. Dry eye syndrome is cause by a lack of tear production, or a poor quality of tears.
The tear film on the eye is very important to the health of our eyes. The tear film protects the eye from possible harm, as it is exposed to the air. Normally, this layer is a stable, homogenous layer that provides the cornea with a buffer from damage. When the tear film becomes unhealthy, it breaks down in certain areas of the eye, causing irritation and also unstable vision.
There are many symptoms of dry eye, one of the most common being tearing. One may wonder, how can my eyes be dry when they are watering so much? This happens because the unhealthy tear film and the irritation that comes with it stimulates the brain, which produces more tears help counteract the irritation. This reflex tearing is not sufficient to correct the issue.
Other symptoms include:
Over the counter drops are often used for temporary relief of symptoms, but do not last long or do anything to solve the actual problem. At Eye Centers of the Rockies, we offer our patients longer lasting eye drops, or procedures that may help the root of the issue. Punctal plugs, which are placed in the tear duct to help the eye retain tears, are very helpful in cases where they eye does not produce enough tears. Prescription medicines such as Restasis are also proven to be helpful in the management of dry eye symptoms. We may find that omega-3 supplements are the best course of action for you, Omega-3 fatty acids are thought to help produce healthy tears.
If you have been experiencing the frustrating symptoms that come along with dry eye syndrome, don’t wait! Dry eye syndrome my seem like a minor annoyance, but over time, unhealthy tear production can damage the surface of the cornea.