Dry eyes can cause more than just discomfort; if left untreated, they can cause corneal damage. If you suffer from dry eyes, Central Optometry is here to help. We will not only offer you relief from your symptoms; we will also get to the root of the problem so that we can create a custom treatment plan to give you long-lasting relief.
Are you looking for sustained relief from your dry eyes? Book an appointment with us today.
Dry Eye Causes
Dry eyes are caused by two main factors: inadequate tear volume and poor tear quality. Our eyes depend on a healthy and balanced tear film to stay lubricated. When we aren’t able to produce enough tears or the tears we do produce are poor quality, our eyes become dry and irritated.
Our bodies produce tears using several different glands located in and around our eyelids. As we age, our eyes aren’t able to produce as many tears as they once did, which can cause dry eyes. Some medical conditions and medications can also impact tear production.
Environmental factors can also cause dry eyes. Even if we can produce enough tears, dry air or windy weather can cause our tears to evaporate too quickly.
Tears are made up of three main ingredients: meibum (a type of oil), water, and mucin. Meibum is the outer tear layer, forming a thin protective barrier and preventing our tears from evaporating too quickly. Mucin helps our tears spread evenly across the surface of our eyes, protecting our corneas. If our tears evaporate too quickly, or our tears are not uniformly distributed, it can result in dry eyes.
Dry Eye Symptoms
Symptoms of dry eyes may include:
- Tired eyes
- Red eyes
- Blurry vision
- A gritty or foreign body sensation
- Stringy discharge
- Sensitivity to light
- Increased sensitivity to glare, particularly at night
Dry Eye Therapy at Central Optometry
Before we can determine which treatment is right for you, we will conduct a complete dry eye assessment. This comprehensive assessment uses a variety of tests and cutting edge equipment to determine the root cause of your dry eyes.
If you suffer from dry eyes, there is no reason to delay. Book your complete dry eye assessment today.
Research has found that certain nutrients can help soothe dry eye related inflammation. Foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids may also be able to increase meibum production and can be found in a variety of fish, nuts, seeds, soybeans, and green leafy vegetables.
A wide-reaching and comprehensive nutritional study (the AREDS2 study) also found that the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc are linked to improved eye health.
Dry eyes may be a side effect of blepharitis, an infection of the eyelid margins that causes irritation and a crusty buildup of debris and bacteria along the lid line.
BlephEx is an in-office treatment that uses a small, handheld cleaning tool to gently exfoliate the eyelid margin, removing debris and bacteria and relieving your symptoms.
Dry eyes can also be caused by clogged meibomian glands, which are responsible for meibum production. This can be alleviated using meibomian gland expression.
iLux is an in-office meibomian gland expression treatment that uses a small, handheld device to gently warm your eyelids, heating the thick, hardened meibum that is clogging your meibomian glands. Once the meibum is sufficiently warmed the iLux device gently compresses your eyelid, releasing the built-up meibum and unclogging your meibomian glands so liquid meibum can flow effectively.
For more information about dry eyes, and to determine which treatment option is right for you, please speak to your optometrist during your next appointment.