Simone Eye Center is the Warren and Macomb Township areas dry eye specialists. We’ve all at some point in time experienced dry, itchy eyes. Maybe you were outside on a particularly windy day or spent too long watching your favorite TV show. The occasional dry, irritated eye is not uncommon. But what if it lasts for more than just a few minutes or hours? If you’re experiencing that frustrating feeling of dry eyes daily, you aren’t alone. You, along with millions of Americans, may have dry eye syndrome.
What is Dry Eye Syndrome?
Dry eye syndrome is a chronic condition that causes dry, itchy, red and stinging eyes. Those with chronic dry eye syndrome may find themselves constantly rubbing their eyes, blinking more often, and reaching for their eye drops more than once a day. In order to fully understand how dry eye syndrome works, you must first understand how the tear film works.
The tear film on the eye is made up of three distinct layers:
- Mucin: The innermost layer of the tear film is made up of mucus. This mucin layer is responsible for allowing the middle layer (aqueous) to spread evenly over the eye and keep the eye lubricated.
- Aqueous: The middle aqueous layer is made up mostly of water and is responsible for keeping the eye nourished and lubricated. It also aids in keeping debris out of the eye and preventing infection.
- Lipid: The outermost lipid, or oil, layer is responsible for keeping the tear film from evaporating.
If one of these three key components is insufficient, it will likely lead to dry eye syndrome. In fact, one of the most common types of dry eye occurs when the outermost lipid layer is insufficient. This is called evaporative dry eye syndrome. Evaporative dry eye syndrome is caused by meibomian gland dysfunction and is often accompanied by blepharitis. The meibomian gland is responsible for the creation of the lipid layer.
What are the Symptoms of Dry Eye?
Dry eye syndrome symptoms are fairly straightforward. If you are experiencing these symptoms, you may have dry eye syndrome:
- Foreign body sensation
The frequency of these symptoms may also play a role in your dry eye diagnosis.
Dry Eye Treatments
Dry eye treatment usually begins with over-the-counter eye drops. These artificial tears can be extremely helpful for people with mild dry eye symptoms to go through their daily lives comfortably. In more advanced cases, artificial tears on their own will not be enough. More long-term solutions like punctal plugs, Restasis, and Xiidra are also available. Dr. Varanelli can talk to you about newer therapies such as autologous serum eye drops or amniotic membranes where he has had significant success with long-term dry eye patients.
If you are dealing with frustrating dry eye symptoms in the Warren and Macomb Township areas, be sure to contact us today! Our dry eye syndrome experts are happy to help. If you’re looking for relief from annoying symptoms, look no further than Simone Eye Center!