Dry eye can occur when your eyes are not making enough tears. Patients ask, “How can my eyes be dry if they water so much?” The answer is our eyes water to make up for the lack of proper tear film production.
When we blink, our eyes create a tear film made up of 3 layers, which helps keep our eyes moist and clean. When one or more of these layers does not produce enough tears, eyes become dry. Symptoms include blurriness, vision fluctuations, burning, stinging, and a gritty feeling in the eyes. Crustiness in the eyes upon wakening sometimes occurs. Environment and activities can also play a role in dry eye. Extensive reading or computer time can lead to dry eye because we tend to blink less.
What can you do to relieve your dry eye symptoms? First and foremost, make sure your eyes stay lubricated. Artificial Tear products are beneficial when used consistently.
Secondly, clean the pores along the upper and lower eyelashes regularly. This helps reduce build up which can clog pores that create the tear film. Eye lid scrubs, Q-tips and warm water, or warm compresses 10-15 minutes a day are effective in cleaning the glands and keeping the natural tear oils flowing.
Visit your ophthalmologist and learn about specific options for relief of your dry eye symptoms.
Visit these websites for more information on dry eye:
Image © American Academy of Ophthalmology 2021