What is Dry Eye?
Dry eye occurs when the eye does not properly produce tears of the correct quantity or consistency, meaning tears are insufficient to keep the eye nourished and healthy. Tears are important to keeping eyes cleared of debris and bacteria. The absence of proper tears can lead to a number of discomforts, so don’t hesitate to contact an optometrist if you’re experiencing issues and think you may need dry eye treatment.
Dry eye is a chronic condition in which something has gone wrong with some part of your tear film, resulting in compromised comfort, eye health, and/or vision. Your tear film consists of:
- A water layer – Lacrimal glands produce the aqueous component of your tears which nourish your eye.
- An oil layer – Meibomian glands produce the oily component of your tears which prevent your tears from evaporating off the surface.
- A sticky layer – Goblet cells produce mucin, which is important for keeping your tears on the surface of the eye.
Your tears are important for comfort, protection, nourishment of the cornea (front surface of your eye), and for vision. Tears are the first refractive surface on your eye and having an unhealthy tear film can make your vision hazy even if you are looking out of the perfect prescription glasses or contacts. When discomfort becomes a daily struggle, dry eyes can have a profound impact on function and quality of life.
Symptoms often go undiagnosed and untreated, leaving our Austin residents wondering if they’ve been struck with a severe case of allergies.
Causes of Dry Eye:
- Medical: Dry eye may be a side effect of another medication that you are taking. Possible culprits: antihistamines, decongestants, blood pressure medicines, anti-depressants.
- Meibomian Gland Dysfunction – The most common cause of dry eye seen in our office in which the meibomian glands produce oil of the wrong consistency, get inflamed, and/or atrophy and no longer produce oil.
- Blepharitis – Eyelash dandruff can cause inflammation on the eyelid margin and is heavily related to meibomian gland dysfunction.
- Exposure: Long-term contact wear, extended periods spent staring at screens (computer vision syndrome), and exposure to windy and dry climates.
- Hormones: Women who are pregnant or using oral contraceptives may be subjected to dry eye resulting from hormonal changes. Thyroid changes may also cause dry eye.
- Age: It is not uncommon for adults over the age of 65 to experience dry eye symptoms.
Experiencing These Symptoms?
- A sensation of burning, itching, stinging or the feeling that something is stuck in your eye
- Excess watering/drying of eyes or discharging
- Blurred or impaired vision/eye fatigue (particularly at the end of the day)
- Red eyes
- Light sensitivity
- Contact lens intolerance
- Fluctuating and blurry vision
Do not mistake dry eye symptoms for tired eyes or allergies. If left untreated, these symptoms can become chronic, more difficult to improve and, in some cases, permanent.
In-office Mibo Thermoflo® Treatment
The MiBo Thermoflo® is a new medical device that offers an alternative therapy for dry eye and blepharitis. The device gently massages the margins of the eyelids, using controlled heat to unclog the meibomian glands. This liquefies the secretions that block these glands, allowing the complex oils to flow freely again, restoring a healthier, more balanced tear film, which prevents tears from evaporating too rapidly.
MiBo Thermoflo® is comfortable, effective, convenient, and affordable. Learn more about the Mibo Thermoflo treatment here:
Schedule an Evaluation for Dry Eye at Our South Austin Office
To help alleviate discomfort in your day-to-day, avoid dry conditions and ensure you are allowing time for your eyes to rest between intensive use. If this isn’t doing the trick, it’s probably time to come see our optometrists at Look + See Vision Care for an eye exam.
Our eye evaluations and specific testing will help us determine the quality of tears produced by your eyes and what treatment will best serve as a solution. Whether it be state-of-the-art techniques and medications, or counseling on your lifestyle and the impact that it is having, our treatments work to restore the balance of moisture in the eyes and minimize discomfort.
Dry eye is a multifactorial disease of the tears and ocular surface. The exact causes of your dry eyes are as individual as you are. Our optometrists will give you a comprehensive evaluation to assess the specific causes of your condition and outline a treatment plan– formulated specifically for you – to help alleviate your symptoms.
If the above symptoms sound familiar, schedule an appointment at our Austin office at (512) 774-6002 today.
Phone: (512) 774-6002
Fax: (512) 774 -5975
2007 S 1st St Suite 104
Austin, TX 78704
We are located on South 1st Street across from Polvo's and next to Once Over Coffee. Feel free to give us a call if you need directions!
Monday 9:00 AM– 6:00 PM
Tuesday 10:00 AM– 6:00 PM
Wednesday 9:00 AM– 6:00 PM
Thursday 9:00 AM– 6:00 PM
Friday 9:00 AM– 3:00 PM
Saturdays & Sundays Closed