Dry eye is a common condition in which a person is unable to produce enough quality tears to nourish and protect their eyes. Dry Eye may occur for more than one reason and the appropriate treatment can vary from patient to patient. Read on below for more information about Dry Eye and answers to common patient questions.
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Fortunately for those suffering from Dry Eye, the experts at Louisiana Eye & Laser have seen it all! If you believe you may be suffering from this painful condition, contact us by phone, online or by visiting one of our 14 convenient locations.
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What is Dry Eye?
Tears are an essential component of your ocular health that serve to keep your eyes nourished and lubricated. Each time you blink, healthy tears lubricate your eyes, reducing your risk of infection and washing away foreign matter. Patients suffering from Dry Eye are unable to produce enough quality tears to nourish and protect their eyes. Common symptoms of Dry Eye include dryness, burning and redness in the eyes. If untreated, Dry Eye can lead to damage of the surface of the eye, causing impaired vision. In general, there are two reasons that Dry Eye can occur:
1. Not enough tears
Tear production tends to decrease with age. Medical conditions or medications are another common cause for decreased tear production. Dry Eye may also occur in certain environments where tears evaporate before they are able to nourish the eyeball.
2. Poor quality tears
Tears are comprised of three things: water, oil and mucus. A lack of any of these layers will likely cause Dry Eye. Having an inadequate amount of water in the tears is the most common cause of Dry Eye, which can lead to keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), or “Dry Eye syndrome.”
How do I know if I have Dry Eye?
Dry eye can be diagnosed by one of our doctors through a comprehensive eye exam. The tests for Dry Eye focus on both the quantity and quality of tears, as these are the two basic causes of Dry Eye. Tests may include:
Examination of quantity and quality of tears, including analysis of imbalances in water, oil and mucus
External examinations of eyelid structure and blink dynamics
Evaluations of eyelids and cornea with bright light and magnifications
Additionally, patient history will be thoroughly evaluated to determine if you have a predisposition to Dry Eye. Age and gender, as well as environmental factors, are often key indicators of whether or not a person is prone to Dry Eye. Dry Eye is especially prominent in older patients and female patients.
How is Dry Eye treated?
The appropriate treatment for Dry Eye is determined on a case-by-case basis. In some cases, a self-care remedy may be sufficient to address the problem. Such remedies include blinking regularly, increasing humidity at home and work, wearing sunglasses and taking over-the-counter supplements such as omega-3 fatty acid. Drinking 8-10 glasses of water per day is also recommended to avoid dehydration. If home remedies are not enough to address the problem, your doctor may prescribe an eye drop or artificial tear solution. In the most severe cases, eye surgery or a special procedure to block tear ducts can be necessary.
Can You Get Dry Eye From Someone Else?
Many patients who visit Louisiana Eye & Laser ask our eye doctors whether or not dry eye is contagious. Luckily dry eyes are not contagious. Dry eye is caused by either a lack of quantity or quality of tears produced in the eye. The root of this problem is not caused by a virus or bacteria that can be contracted, but by a problem in the tear producing glands or in the anatomical features of the eyeball. Although we are certain you can not develop dry eyes or dry eye symptoms from being around another person with dry eye, there is little known about the genetic characteristics of dry eye. More research is needed to conclude if dry eye is hereditary. If you are experiencing symptoms of dry eye visit Louisiana Eye & Laser to schedule a comprehensive eye exam. Give us a call or fill out the contact form below to get in touch with an eye car professional today!
Louisiana Eye & Laser is here to help!
After treating patients for over 40 years, the eye care experts at Louisiana Eye & Laser have seen it all. When it comes to Dry Eye, our highly-trained staff is here to help you with your unique, individual needs. With all of the latest technology and 14 locations across the state, there is no better place for all of your eye care needs than Louisiana Eye & Laser!
Request Your Appointment Today!