One of the most common ailments we see in our practice is a condition known as “dry eye syndrome.” The most common complaint of the dry eye patient is … tearing. But, why?
For us to see our best we need fully transparent surfaces that can bring all of the light from the outside of your eye and focus it to the inside of your eye. The outer surface of your eye is called the cornea. To keep the cornea clean, clear and healthy it has a support system which includes our tear film.
We produce tears in two areas, a maintenance tear system in our eye lids and a reservoir system in the outer portion of the boney eye socket. The maintenance system is there to do the daily chores. When we blink the eyelids go over the cornea like a windshield wiper and give us a clear window to see through. The reservoir system is there in case we get something in our eyes or become emotionally upset. It floods the system with tears to get rid of particles coming into the eye or when we are upset and cry.
For individuals with Dry Eye Syndrome, the maintenance system can’t do an adequate job. The system detects a problem, like a gritty or sandy surface, and the reservoir system reacts to fix the problem and your eye become flooded with tears. That is why patients who sometimes complain about excessive tearing in fact have Dry Eye Syndrome. They go from being too dry to being too wet.
Come in and see us if you are experiencing tearing, grittiness, burning or itchy eyes. We can help you.