Dry Eye: Risk Factors
Dry Eye Video Categories
Dry Eye in Chicago, IL
- Patients can be diagnosed with dry eye syndrome with a comprehensive eye exam
- Our surgeon, John Bello, M.D., performs each eye exam to care for and treat dry eyes
- Our practice exclusively carries products, not available in drug stores, to treat and relieve your symptoms of dry eyes
- If you experience: red, irritated eyes, a burning or scratchy sensation, feeling something is “in” your eye, fluctuating or blurred vision, eye pain, or contact lens discomfort contact us today
Dry Eye Syndrome has been a growing problem in the United States. Women are more commonly diagnosed (then men) with dry eye syndrome, and it is more common in patients over 40, due to a decreased production of tears.
Common Causes of Dry Eye Syndrome
- Not producing an adequate amount of tears
- Producing poor quality tears (due to an abnormal composition in the tear film itself).
- Medications (antihistamines, diuretics, beta blockers, antidepressants, etc.)
- Previous corneal surgery
- Contact lens wear
- Living and/or working in dry environments
- External eye irritants
- Skin conditions, such as, dermatitis and rosacea
- Autoimmune diseases, such as, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or Sjogren’s Syndrome
- Decreased blinking rate due to spending long periods of time reading, driving, or using the computer.
- Hormones (post-menopausal)
Dry Eye Symptoms Include:
- Increased tearing or watery eyes
- Redness, burning, dryness, and/or itching
- Lids stuck together upon awakening
- Eye fatigue and/ or light sensitivity
- Eye pain and/ or sandy feeling
- Mucous or stringy discharge
- Difficulty wearing contact lenses
A healthy tear film is comprised of three basic layers: an oily layer, a watery layer, and a mucin layer. Each layer has its own purpose and works best when there is a healthy balance of all three components. This approach is very effective in the diagnosis and treatment of dry eye syndrome.
- The oily layer (lipid layer) forms the outermost surface of the tear film and is produced by the meibomian glands, which are small glands located on the edges of your eyelids. Their main purpose is to smooth the tear surface and reduce the evaporation of the middle watery layer of your tear film. Sometimes the glands don’t produce enough oil and other times the glands can get clogged. This causes the watery layer to evaporate too quickly, causing dry eyes.
- The middle or watery layer (aqueous layer) makes up the majority of the tear film and consists of mostly water and a little salt. The lacrimal glands in the eyelids produce this layer. Its purpose is to cleanse the eye and wash away foreign particles. If there is an inadequate amount of fluid, the oil layer and the mucin layer can touch, causing a stringy discharge.
- The inner layer (mucin layer) consists of mucin, which is produced by the goblet cells on the cornea. This mucin allows the watery layer of tears to spread evenly over the surface of the eye and helps the eye to stay moist. Without the mucin layer, tears would not stick to the surface of your eye (cornea) and dry spots can form.
Dry Eyes Treatment & Solutions
In order to effectively treat dry eyes, a comprehensive eye examination is needed to determine the causing factors of dry eyes. The goal of treatment is to restore a normal tear film, which will help minimize dryness, blurred vision and discomfort. Dry eyes, if left untreated, may lead to more serious conditions, including eye inflammation, infection and corneal scarring.
Every patient and each eye are unique. With this in mind, we strive to determine the exact cause of your dry eye symptoms, and work together with you to select the most appropriate and effective therapy. For those who have been struggling with Dry Eye Syndrome, there is still hope. Our goal is to provide fresh alternatives for you, using the latest technology. Below, you will learn about some exciting products that many of our patients find useful in alleviating their dry eye symptoms. Keep in mind; you will want to be evaluated by our dry eye doctor, John Bello, M.D., to see which products will be best for you.
- Oasis Tears Drops
- Tears Again Liposome Spray
- Ocusoft Pads & Lid Scrub Original Foam
- Retaine MGD Drops