Dry Eye FAQ’s

What Are the Symptoms of Dry Eye?

The most common symptoms of dry eye:

  • Excessive eye watering
  • Stinging/burning eye sensation
  • Gritty eye sensation
  • Light sensitivity
  • Redness
  • Stringy eye mucus
  • Blurred vision
  • Eye fatigue

What Causes Dry Eye?

In healthy eyes each blink spreads tears across the front surface of the eye. These tears keep the eyes lubricated and help maintain eye health. When there is a problem with the quantity or quality of your tears, dry eye symptoms will
become more prevalent and impact your daily life.

Dry eye can be caused by insufficient tear production or by quick tear evaporation due to:

  • Aging
  • Poor tear quality in any of the oil, water or mucus layers
  • Medications
  • Medical conditions
  • Contact lenses
  • Post-menopause hormone changes
  • Laser eye surgery
  • Damage to tear glands
  • Eyelid problems
  • Smoking
  • Environmental conditions (wind, dry air, computer work, etc.)
  • Eye inflammation

Uncovering the root cause of dry eye is critical in determining a successful treatment plan for your specific type of dry eye.

What are the different types of Dry Eye?

Everyone experiences dry eyes once in a while. But for some people, dry eye is a chronic condition that is uncomfortable and limiting for daily tasks. There are two different types of dry eye:

  • Aqueous Dry Eye: insufficient tear production
  • Evaporative Dry Eye: increase in tear evaporation

Evaporative dry eye is the most common form of dry eye, which affects 86% of dry eye patients. Also called Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD), evaporative dry eye is caused by blockage of the meibomian glands of the eyelid. When these glands are blocked, there is a shortage of oil on the tear surface and tears evaporate quickly.

Aqueous dry eye is caused when your eyes simply do not produce enough tears to nourish your eyes.

Can you prevent Dry Eye?

Not all dry eye conditions can be avoided, but there are certain measures you can take to help prevent dry eye:

  • Use a humidifier at home
  • Stop smoking / avoid second-hand smoke
  • Ask your doctor about stopping medications that may cause dry eye
  • Blink often
  • Wear sunglasses outdoors to shield wind and dirt
  • Take frequent breaks from reading and computer work
  • Avoid air blowing into your face
  • Take breaks from wearing contact lenses
  • Be aware of the environmental factors that cause your eyes to become irritated so you can avoid or limit those circumstances.

If you are unable to control your dry eye with the above tips, contact us to schedule a Dry Ey Consultation.

If you have more questions about cataracts, contact us to schedule a cataract evaluation.