Dry eye is one of those annoying conditions that's actually more serious than it sounds. Poor tear production can cause discomfort, vision problems and even corneal damage. The good news is that our optometrist in College Station, Dr. Greene, can help you get a grip on your dry eye problem.
The Importance of the Tear Film
Dry eye occurs when your eyes aren't sufficiently protected by tear film. Tear film contains a water layer, a mucous layer to hold the water on the eye surface, and an oil layer to keep the water from evaporating. If these three ingredients are out of balance, you can't maintain eye moisture -- although your eyes may actually try to compensate by becoming excessively watery!
In additional to this abnormal eye watering, telltale signs of dry eye include extreme sensitivity to light and glare, redness, itching, aching, burning and a gritty sensation as if you've got something lodged in your eye. You may also experience a blurring of vision. These problems can leave the eye chronically unprotected -- bad news for the cornea, which can be subjected to infection, inflammation and even scarring without adequate protection.
The "Why" of Dry Eye
Dry eye is a common affliction, if only because there are so many potential causes. Immune disorders such as Sjogren's syndrome are known to cause dry eye, as are medications such as antihistamines and certain antidepressant drugs. The modern world's insistence on constant computer and mobile device usage can encourage the eyes to blink less often, allowing tear film to dry out without being replenished. Working or sleeping under a moving ceiling fan is another cause of dry eye. Even the normal aging process can lead to reduced tear production.
Dry eye can also occur after you've had surgery to remove cataracts in College Station. Individuals who replaced their diseased lenses with multifocal intraocular lenses (for correction of presbyopia) seem to especially prone to this issue. If you've been suffering dry eye symptoms after a recent surgery to remove cataracts in College Station, you should find out whether your symptoms are just normal post-operative irritation or a genuine case of dry eye that requires treatment.
Suffering from Dry Eye in College Station? Contact Urban Optics!
If you're experiencing dry eye in College Station, Urban Optics can provide the relief you seek. Our College Station optometrist can evaluate the quantity and composition of your tears, analyze your medical/medication history and ask you about your lifestyle to determine exactly why your eyes are drying out. We can then recommend treatment options such as:
- Artificial tears or ointments
- Treatments to un-block clogged tear glands
- Work breaks to help you blink more frequently
- Avoidance of ceiling fans or wind
- Nutritional suggestions such as increased omega-3 intake
You don't have to endure the discomforts of dry eye. Call Urban Optics at (979) 690-0888 to schedule an appointment with our College Station optometrist!