Dry Eye Clinic
If you suffer from dry eyes, you are not alone. Dry eye disease is a common problem that affects millions of Americans of all ages. If you have ever experienced sore, red, itchy eyes or had trouble wearing contact lenses, you may have dry eye. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help prevent and manage this condition. Our dry eye experts at Moorhead Vision Associates will look into your condition and give you comfort.
What is Dry Eye?
Dry eye is a common condition where your tears do not produce adequate lubrication for your eyes. Your eyes need lubrication to see well and feel healthy. Tears keep the eye moist and wash away dirt and harmful microorganisms.
Tears are composed of three layers: an oily layer, an aqueous layer, and a mucus layer. Each tear layer serves a vital function.
- The oily layer coats the outside and keeps the tear from evaporating prematurely.
- The aqueous layer takes up most of the eye and washes away particles.
- The mucus layer is in the core of the tear and helps the tear stick to the eye.
Each tear layer is produced by a gland on or near the eye. Any dysfunction of these components can cause tear instability, which leads to Dry Eye Disease.
Symptoms of Dry Eye
Symptoms of dry eye disease depend vary from each person. Some dry eye symptoms include:
- Stinging or Burning
- Excessive Tearing
- Feeling like Something Is in Your Eye
- Blurry or Fluctuating Vision
- Itchy Sensation
If left untreated, dry eye could increase in severity and lead to fluctuating vision, reduced sharpness, and scarring of the cornea.
Dry Eye Causes
Many factors can influence the onset of dry eye. One common cause we increasingly see is a computer, smartphone, or other electronic device used for an extended time. When we look at digital screens, we tend to blink less, which leads to tear evaporation and dry eye.
Some other common causes of dry eye include:
- Contact Lens Wear
- Indoor and Outdoor Environments
- Smoking or Vaping
Dry Eye Treatment
For those with mild dry eye symptoms, there are a few things you can do to rejuvenate your dry eyes.
Some of these options include:
- Omega-3 Supplementation – Fish oil rich in omega-3 fatty acids helps produce more oil in the tear production. The increased production of oil improves the quality of your tear film by preventing the premature evaporation of tears.
- Dry Eye Therapy Masks – A dry eye therapy mask is similar in appearance to a sleep mask. Dry eye therapy masks reduce inflammation within the oil glades and improve the flow of oils from our eyelids. The dry eye mask is heated and placed on the face – the heat melts plugged glands, which allows the oil to flow.
- Artificial Tears – Eye drops are used on an as-needed basis to help improve comfort and quality vision. These products provide immediate relief by rewetting the eye’s surface.
For those who spend extended amounts of time in front of computer screens, there are a few things you can do to help prevent dry eye:
- Lower your screen brightness and position your screen farther away from your face.
- Use the 20-20-20 rule: for every 20 minutes, you should look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds to relax your eyes.
- Remember to blink often to rehydrate your dry eyes.
Dry Eye Center
If you are experiencing moderate to severe dry eye complications, you should schedule an eye exam with our dry eye specialists. We’ll look through your eye health history and help determine the root of your dry eye condition. We may also perform special tests that will look into the quality and volume of your tears. Some severe cases of dry eye disease may need prescription medication and surgery.
Schedule a Dry Eye Appointment
If you are experiencing dry eye, it is essential to schedule an appointment with our dry eye specialist. Our team of experts can help you find relief from your symptoms and improve your overall eye health. Schedule an appointment with Moorhead Vision Associates today!