What Happens When You Have Dry Eyes?

Posted by: Missouri Eye Institute in Blog on April 29, 2022

Dry eye syndrome is one of the most common eye conditions. It can result from too much screen time, side effects of some medications, and many other reasons. 

This eye condition can also cause different symptoms to present in different people. Keep reading to learn more about what happens when you have dry eyes!

Symptoms of Dry Eye

You have likely experienced dry eye symptoms at some point in your life. Usually affecting both eyes simultaneously, dry eye can cause:

If you are experiencing these symptoms consistently, you may have dry eye syndrome. The first step to improving your symptoms is to visit your eye doctor. 

Your eye doctor will determine the root cause of your dry eye to decide the best treatment method. 

The Causes of Dry Eye

Tears are an essential part of keeping the eye healthy. They carry vital nutrients to the eye’s surface and lubricate the cornea.

Tears also provide a barrier between your eye and the elements. To maintain lubrication, two measurements need to stay consistent in tear production.

The quantity and the quality of the tears must be sufficient to have a healthy surface of your eye. If your eyes do not produce enough tears, they will not be able to adequately coat the eye to keep it moisturized.

Tear production can decrease due to age, as a side effect of medication and other external factors. Tear quality is related to the three layers of the tear film. 

If any of these components are lacking, the tear film will not work correctly, and your eyes will be more vulnerable. Water is the primary ingredient, holding the nutrients and hydrating power of the tear. 

Below the water layer is a layer of mucus, which spreads the water evenly and encourages it to cling to your eye’s surface. Above the water layer is the oil layer.

This layer keeps the tears from immediately evaporating off of the surface of the eye. The oil layer promotes lubrication. 

Treating Dry Eye  

Treatment methods for dry eye can vary from self-management to professional intervention. You may be able to improve your dry eye symptoms by changing your habits. 

Giving your eyes support and preventing potential dry eye triggers can improve your symptoms. You also may be able to better manage your symptoms by increasing your use of artificial tears.

If changes in your routine and adding lubricating drops do not help improve your symptoms, it may be time to visit your eye doctor. Dry eye syndrome can sometimes result from a systemic issue and not just the result of external factors.

Determining the root cause of your dry eye will help your eye doctor find the best way to treat you. Treatments can range from steroid medicated eye drops to help repair damage from inflammation to special therapies to unblock oil-producing glands in the eyelids. 

Are you ready to get help to improve your dry eye symptoms? Schedule an appointment at Missouri Eye Institute in Springfield, MO, today!



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