When you suffer from dry eyes, you may think it is simply because of something in your environment. What you may not know is that it can be a disease that your eye doctor can treat. If your eyes are chronically dry, it may be time to schedule an appointment.
Eyes become dry when they do not create an adequate amount of tears. This is dangerous, because it causes the inflammation, which can increase infection risk and can cause scarring. If the scars occur, permanent vision loss can happen.
However, lack of tears is too simple to be the full explanation for dry eyes. As your eye doctor will tell you, your eyes create three layers of tears. The one closest to the actual surface of the eye is the mucin layer. This layer smooths out the surface, and it is followed by the aqueous layer, which is the water layer that keeps the area moist and is created by the tear ducts. Finally, the lipid layer is an oily film that prevents the rest of the liquid on the eye from evaporation.
Sometimes, individuals who have chronically dry eyes will actually have excess tearing. This occurs because the first layer, the mucin layer, is lacking, so the front surface of the eyes dries out and becomes inflamed. When this happens, the eyes start making the aqueous layer in abundance in order to sooth the irritated tissue. These actually counteract the natural levels of liquids in the eyes, because instead of moisturizing the surface of the eyes, they actually wash away any of the mucin layer that is there.
So, if dry eyes will actually produce too many tears, how can you know if you have them? You need to understand the symptoms of this condition, so you can know if it is time to visit your eye doctor. Symptoms of this condition may include redness, blurred vision, stinging, excessive tearing, burning, and general discomfort.
If you suffer from dry eyes, you need to see your eye doctor to discuss possible treatments. There are many options out there. Sometimes, over-the-counter drops are sufficient to treat the problem. Other people respond well to supplements, while some need prescriptions to moisten.
Punctual plugs are sometimes used for people with severe disease. These plugs will stop the tear ducts from allowing the tears to just run down and out, preventing them from washing away the moisture that you do need. Punctual plugs require no surgery and cause no pain. Your eye doctor can insert them quickly and simply through a standard office visit. If your eyes are dry and irritated, you do not have to suffer. Your ophthalmologist can offer several different treatments to give you relief and preserve your future vision, without much hassle and with no down time. Give him a call today, and stop suffering from dry, irritated eyes.
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