To protect your eyes from dust, debris and microorganisms, your lacrimal glands (also known as tear glands), located above each eye, produce tear fluid. This keeps the eyes moist and free from impurities. People with dry eye syndrome, however, may experience irritation and inflammation because their tear glands don’t supply sufficient moisture to lubricate the eyes.
Read on as your eye care associates at Innovative Eyecare discuss the causes, risk factors, symptoms and treatment methods for this eye problem.
Causes of Dry Eyes
Your tears have oily, watery and mucus-like components. These are produced by three different glands called meibomian, lacrimal and goblet cells, respectively. Defects in any of these glands can result in dry eye syndrome development.
About 26 million people in the country suffer from dry eyes, based on the 2012 Gallup poll. This figure is expected to increase by more than three million within the next 10 years. Another survey revealed that 48% of people aged 18 and older experience dry eye symptoms.
Many factors affect dry eye syndrome development. People over the age of 50 are at a higher risk of developing this condition, with post-menopausal women more prone to dry eyes than men of the same age. Apart from age-related causes, dry eye syndrome can also be related to excessive use of computers and other digital devices. Visit your local optometrist to help treat your dry eyes.
People with dry eye syndrome often feel a scratchy, stinging or burning sensation. Tearing up may also happen as a protective mechanism. This reflex tearing, however, does not stay on the eye long enough to keep your eye moist. Blurred vision may also occur as the condition advances.
Dry Eyes Treatment
Your eye care specialist may prescribe medicated eye drops to reduce inflammation in your eyes and stimulate your tear glands to produce more tears. For severe cases, your eye doctor may recommend artificial collagen plugs in your tear ducts to regulate tear draining rate.
Turn to Innovative Eyecare to help treat your dry eyes, refractive errors and other eye conditions. Dr. Chris D. Teichmiller, your eye doctor, also provides lectures about this eye condition to spread awareness in the community. Call us today at (256) 270-0899 or fill out our online form to schedule an appointment. We serve residents of Athens and Madison, AL.