Dry Eye

Symptoms of dry eye are some of the most common eye problems in the United States today. Your eyes are lubricated by tears which are produced by several different tear glands located primarily in your upper eyelids. Natural tears keep your eye feeling cool and comfortable. Tears are important for stable vision and they prevent infection of your eyes and eyelids. Blinking spreads these tears across the surface of your eyes. The average person blinks 40,000 times per day! The tears move toward the inside corner of your eyes and then drain through the tear drainage ducts (puncta) into your nose and then to the back of your throat. If there are not enough of these lubricating tears on your eyes surface, you are likely to experience dry, red, itchy, burning or watery eyes. Sometimes there is extreme irritation and pain.

Causes of dry eye can include:

  • Environment, especially sunny, dry, windy weather. The use of heaters and fans. The defroster in your car in the winter. All of these increase the evaporation of tears. Also prolonged computer use or any screen (tablets, iPhones, smart phones, etc.) will cause decreased blinking increased evaporation and therefore dry eyes, or eye strain symptoms.
  • Drainage of tears: Too much drainage of the tears or not enough tear production
  • Contact Lens Wear: contact lens wear will contribute to tear evaporation, decreased blinking and therefore have related dry eye symptoms.
  • Decreased Tear Production: As we age our tear production and tear quality decrease. By 65 the tear glands are only producing about 40% of the high quality lubricating tears that were being produced at age 18.
  • Medications: Many medications can contribute to the decreased quality of ones lubricating tears. “Dry Eye” is an extremely common listing on side effects of medications.
  • Allergies: Often allergies and or the treatment will decrease the quality of the

There are many different treatments that we can recommend or prescribe to alleviate the irritation and pain of dry eyes. These treatments are dependent upon the underlying cause of the dry eye. Let Dr. Sawyer help you find the cause and tailor a treatment that will bring you relief.

To schedule an appointment call us today 763.441.3431