A dust storm in spring time can make anyone’s eyes feel dry or irritated! But if you regularly experience discomfort with your eyes, it may be more than dust and pollen to blame.
Dry eye is a common condition which has a variety of causes and consequences. Patients suffering from dry eye will experience symptoms including; eye inflammation, eye irritation, feelings of warmth, heat or the sensation of a foreign body on the eye surface, dry, sore or aching eyes, eye fatigue and, in extreme cases, scratching or scarring of the front surface of the eye (the cornea).
Ironically, a common symptom of dry eye is excess tears (‘epiphora’), where there is an overproduction of water running out of the eyes. This is often embarrassing to the sufferer as they are thought to always be crying.
Dry eye is the result of an inadequate or low-quality tear film on the surface of the eye. Tears are an important contributor to the health of our eyes and assist in the lubrication between the eye and eyelids. The tear film is made up of 3 layers; an oily layer, a water layer and a mucous layer.
Each layer of the tear film serves a purpose in ensuring the adequate lubrication, cleanliness and health of the eye. Dry eye arises where there is an issue with one or more of these tear film layers, and treatment will vary depending on which layer is deficient. Technically, the tear film itself is the main refracting layer of the eyes and tear film quality is essential for clear and stable vision.
If you regularly experience symptoms of dry eye, we encourage you to make an appointment for an eye exam with our optometrist in the Hills District.
Our optometrist is experienced in the treatment and resolution of dry eye syndrome and will work with you to determine a treatment plan to combat this condition that is tailored to your specific tear film issues. This will factor in lifestyle and environment factors (including screen time, contact lens wear habits, cosmetics, smoking, medication, air quality and history of previous eye surgery) and pharmaceutical factors including medication and eye drop usage.