The tears your eyes produce are necessary for overall eye health, eye comfort and clear vision. Tear glands in your upper eyelid produce tears then blinking spreads a film of tears across the surface of your eyes that then move near the inner corner of your eye and drain through the tear drainage ducts in the nose and throat. During your comprehensive eye examination, we will use a biomicroscope to look for dry eye.
Dry eye occurs when your eyes don’t produce enough tears, or when your tears don’t have the proper chemical composition. Dry eye may cause a variety of unpleasant symptoms including:
- Dry, sandy or gritty feeling eyes
- Eye redness
- Itching eyes
- Occasional or constant eye watering
- Eyes slightly “crusty” or “mattering” in the morning upon awakening
- Burning or sore eyes
- “Filmy” vision that sometimes clears up when you blink or squeeze the eyes
- Feeling that something is in the eye (foreign body sensation)
- Tired eyes
- Light sensitivity
- Chronic sties or eyelid infections
- Contact lens discomfort and sensitivity to contact lens solutions
Severely dry eyes may result in damaged eye tissue, chronic eye infections, scarring or ulceration of the corneas, and permanent vision loss.
Dry eye can be a result of normal aging. It may also be cause by Colorado’s dry climate, wind and dust, general health problems like arthritis, chemical or thermal burns to the eyes, eyelid problems, blinking disorders, medications like antihistamines, oral contraceptives, antidepressants, diuretics or other drugs.
Treatment for dry eye includes lubricating drops, ointments, and prescription anti-inflammatory eye drops. In some cases, small plugs are inserted in the corner of the eye to slow tear drainage. We will work with you to find the best method for relieving dry eye.