THE NORMAL ACTION OF TEARS
Normally your eyes are kept moist and comfortable by a film of tears. Glands in your eyelids make these tears. The action of blinking spreads the tears over the surface of the eye.
WHAT TEARS DO?
The tears contain substances that lubricate, prevent infection and slow down evaporation of the tears.
WHAT IS DRY EYE
In some people tears are produced in small amounts. Sometimes those produced are of very poor quality. This leads to small dry patches on the surface of the eye causing redness, irritation and excessive blinking.
SYMPTOMS OF DRY EYE
- Stinging, burning or a gritty feeling in your eye.
- Eyes may appear slightly red
- Eyes may feel heavy
- Eyes may seems sensitive to light
- Excessive blinking
- Irritation may lead to excessive watering
FACTORS THAT MAY TRIGGER SYMPTOMS
- Times when you blink less often e.g. reading, driving, watching TV or computer work.
- Exposure to fumes, cigarette smoke, or dust.
- Air conditioning.
- Hair dryers.
CAUSES OF DRY EYES
- The most common cause is the failure of the glands in your eyelids to produce good quality tears.
- Some medical conditions (e.g. arthritis) and certain medicines can reduce tear production e.g. high blood pressure, kidney disease.
- Incomplete eyelid closure leaves the eye exposed to drying.
TESTS & TREATMENT OF DRY EYE
There are a variety of treatments available to treat dry eye depending on the cause of the deficiency.
We, at Jennifer Murphy Opticians will examine the surface of your eye for damage and assess your tear production, and advise you accordingly.
TIPS ON HOW TO HELP YOURSELF
- Avoid places where fumes, dust or smoke will irritate your eyes.
- Try to blink more often when reading or watching TV.
- Use humidifiers at home and work (especially where there is air conditioning)
- Do not direct fans towards your eyes.
- Take short breaks when doing computer work.
- Wear wrap around glasses out-doors to stop the wind from drying your eyes.