What Causes Dry Eyes?
Common causes of dry eye are not blinking enough, not producing enough tears, or inability to produce a healthy oil layer to seal in your tears.
Chronic dry eye affects over 300 million people worldwide. Many medical conditions or environmental factors can make the eyes feel dry and irritated. If you have symptoms of chronic dry eye, see an eye care professional. No one should have to live with uncomfortable and irritated eyes. Additionally, long-term dryness can lead to chronic inflammation.
What Causes Dry Eyes?
Tears are vital to the health of your eyes. They keep your eyes lubricated, protect them from damage, and even have antibacterial properties. If you have chronic dry eye, you may not make enough tears, or the tears you make may be missing some ingredients.
While you may not have heard of them, the Meibomian glands line your eyelids and produce an oily fluid. This oil forms an outer layer that keeps tears from drying out too fast. Malfunctioning Meibomian glands are one of the most common causes of chronic dry eye. Without them, your tears cannot do their job of keeping your eyes lubricated.
What are the Symptoms of Dry Eyes?
If you have dry eyes, you may recognize many of these common symptoms. These can become irritating and uncomfortable enough to affect your daily life, and over-the-counter medications may not give you the relief you need.
- Itching or burning
- Sensitivity to light
- Feeling like you have something in your eye
- Eye fatigue
- Blurred vision
- Watering (the eye’s attempt to compensate for low-quality tears)
Most people have symptoms in both eyes. They may remain constant or come and go over time. You may find that environmental conditions like wind, dust, or dry air can cause tears to evaporate faster, making your symptoms worse.
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How are Dry Eyes Treated?
Some people get relief from their dry eyes with prescription eye drops or other medications. If your eye doctor determines that your dry eyes come from Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), you have a new treatment option. LipiFlow® goes beyond treating symptoms to treat the root of the problem and restore your natural tears.
LipiFlow® uses thermal pulsation treatment, a combination of gentle heat and vibration that unblocks the Meibomian glands. This definitive treatment for chronic dry eye treats your dysfunctional glands, so you get a resolution of the underlying cause instead of symptomatic relief. The device has a single-use applicator designed to protect your eye while treating the eyelids. You will feel no discomfort during a LipiFlow® procedure.
Am I a Good Candidate for Dry Eye Treatment?
If you have chronic dry eye caused by MGD, LipiFlow® may make an excellent choice for you. Most people with this condition make good candidates. If your dry eye symptoms do not come from MGD, we will work with you to find a solution to manage your symptoms.