The tear film keeps the eye moist, lubricated and nourished. Tears are made from three layers. Insufficient production of any of the three layer components can result in dry eyes.
The outermost layer is called the lipid layer. A thin lipid layer causes the tear film to evaporate.
The middle watery layer nourishes and lubricates the eye. The watery layer of the tear film is produced by the lachrymal glands.
The mucin layer keeps the tear film stable. A thin mucin layer can cause the tear film to destabilize and become dry.
Environmental factors such as dust, smoke and wind can cause dry eyes. Air conditioning systems may lead to discomfort.
Certain tasks such as working on PCs can significantly reduce blinking. Dry eye increases with age and different eye related conditions such as allergy, or blepharitis are associated with drye eye.
Although dry eye drops may alleviate allergy symptoms, specific anti-allergy drops might be needed.
Contact lenses wear is also a risk factor of dry eye.
Signs and symptoms:
- Pain and sensation of a foreign body,
- Secretions around the eyelids in the morning.
- Intermittent blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light
In order to treat dry eye, it's first important to treat the root cause of dryness (allergy, Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MBD).
Several eye drops, and artifical tears exists to release from dryness symptoms. One would privilege artifical tears without preservative.
One method of treating dry eye is to prevent tears from draining out of the eye. Tears drain out of the eye through the tear ducts. In dry eyes, the amount of tears is reduced. However, tears can be preserved using punctal plugs. These plugs are painlessly inserted into the tears ducts.
Punctal plugs can be temporary or permanent. Once in place, they reduce the amount of tears draining out of the eye. The plugs are inserted in-office and most people can't feel them.