Most of us have no problems shedding a few tears when we are feeling emotional, but there is a minority of people that cannot create tears. It is a condition known as dry eyes and a person may feel as though there is a constant irritant in their eyes.
The reason for the discomfort is that your eyes are not producing enough tears to cover the eyes. Healthy eyes are covered by a thin tear film that acts as a barrier and allows you to see more clearly.
While there is no one specific cause to dry eyes, doctors have found a number of variables that could play a role. A persistent irritant to an eye may cause dry eye. Contact lenses may play a role in causing dry eye. Other causes may be related to your work environment or lifestyle.
The causes may not be well defined, but the symptoms are noticeable. Dry eye patients often experience:
- Scratchy and irritations to the eye
- Heightened sensitivity to wind or smoke
- Light sensitivity either from the sun or entering a room
- Decreased vision
- Tired eyes from trying to focus on an object or read
- Becoming immune from being able to wear contacts
There are a variety of treatments for dry eyes that include eye drops, eye ointments, punctal plugs, or even lifestyle changes. Traditional treatments often provide patients with comfort, but these treatments cannot help with the tear composition that may cause the dryness. Studies are being performed on a regular basis by doctors who are looking for better ways to treat dry eyes.
Kirk Eye Center is proud to offer LipiFlow, a revolutionary technology used to treat dry eye. Patients find relief for up to nine months with just a single treatment. LipiFlow delivers controlled heat to the inner layer of the eyelid, releasing lipids or oils from blocked Meibomian glands. It treats both upper and lower eyelids at the same time, without causing damage to other delicate tissues and structures within the eye. The treatment takes only 12 minutes and is pain frree. By unlocking the glands with the revolutionary thermal pulsating technology, the body can resume its natural production of oil and keep the eyes lubricated.
If you feel as though you suffer from dry eye(s), you should make an appointment to see your local doctor. Your doctor will have a series of questions for you about your lifestyle, work environment, and even eating habits so that they may begin to access your condition. A tear volume or production test is used to determine the dryness and location of the dryness in your eye(s).