The symptoms of dry eye are uncomfortable and inconvenient. Many of the following symptoms are common with eye allergies or other conditions, so it is important to see an eye doctor to differentiate the two for appropriate treatment.
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- Burning / stinging
- Dry / scratchy / gritty
- Watery eyes
- Fluctuating vision
- Light sensitivity
- Eye redness
The thin layer of tears on the surface of your eye is comprised of three layers; lipid (oil), water, and a mucous layer overlying the cornea. Additionally, there are multiple proteins found within the tears. These layers dynamically mix with eachother and spread across the eye with each blink.
What causes dry eye?
Dry Eye Disease is a multi-factorial condition which can be caused by:
- Medical Conditions (Ex. Diabetes, Sjogren Syndrome, Rheumatoid Arthritis, etc.)
- Side effect of medications
- Environmental factors (i.e. smoke, wind, humidity level)
- Hormonal changes
- Prior injuries or surgeries
- Contact lens use
- Habits and behaviours (Ex. Computer, tablet, etc.)
As the above factors involve different components of the tear film, appropriate treatment must be tailored to that particular type of dry eye disease.
An assessment with medical history review with your optometrist will evaluate the severity of dry eye, and the role of any contributing factors. Treatment can then be tailored to your specific variant of dry eye.
Treatment may involve one or more of:
- Artificial Tears
- Eyelid Hygiene
- Punctal Plugs
- Steroids and Antibiotic Eye Drops
- LipiFlow or IPL Treatment