You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.
Dry eye is a condition in which there are insufficient tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. Tears are necessary for maintaining the health of the front surface of the eye and for providing clear vision. In Winchester, Woburn, Medford, Arlington, Burlington, Reading, Stoneham, Lexington, and Melrose, those with dry eyes either do not produce enough tears or have a poor quality of tears. Dry eye is a common and often chronic problem.
Inadequate amount of tears – Tears are produced by several glands in and around the eyelids. Tear production tends to diminish with age, with various medical conditions, or as a side effect of certain medicines. Environmental conditions such as wind and dry climates can also affect tear volume by increasing tear evaporation. When the normal amount of tear production decreases or tears evaporate too quickly from the eyes, symptoms of dry eye can develop.
Poor quality of tears – Tears are made up of three layers: oil, water, and mucus. Each component serves a function in protecting and nourishing the front surface of the eye. A smooth oil layer helps to prevent evaporation of the water layer, while the mucin layer functions in spreading the tears evenly over the surface of the eye. If the tears evaporate too quickly or do not spread evenly over the cornea due to deficiencies with any of the three tear layers, dry eye symptoms can develop.
With each blink of the eyelids, tears are spread across the front surface of the eye, known as the cornea. Tears provide lubrication, reduce the risk of eye infection, wash away foreign matter in the eye, and keep the surface of the eyes smooth and clear.
People with dry eyes may experience symptoms of irritated, gritty, scratchy, or burning eyes, a feeling of something in their eyes, excess watering, or blurred vision. Advanced dry eyes may damage the front surface of the eye in a similar way dryness can damage your skin.
Treatments for dry eyes aim to restore or maintain the normal amount of tears in the eye to minimize dryness and related discomfort. The primary approaches used to manage and treat dry eyes include adding artificial tears 3-4 times a day, conserving tears by blocking the tear drainage, increasing tear production with anti-inflammatory drops, and treating the inflammation of the eyelids with hot compresses or fatty acid supplements.
For more information on Dry Eye, please visit the below websites: