Dry Eye Syndrome
What is Dry Eye Syndrome?
Dry eye syndrome usually refers to a lack of moisture reaching the ocular surface or the tears that reach the ocular surface evaporate too quickly. 65% of patients with dry eye syndrome symptoms have a condition called Meibomian Gland Dysfunction. These lubricating Meibomian Glands provide the protective oil layer that prevents tears from evaporating. With this condition, the glands can become obstructed and an inadequate amount of protective oil is present in your tears.
Factors such as the environment, the aging process, hormonal changes, medications, inadequate blinking, poor diet, and systemic diseases can all play a significant role in reducing this moisture. Occasionally, dry eye syndrome is related to underlying systemic conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sjogren’s Syndrome, Sarcoidosis, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Parkinson’s Disease, Dementia, and a multitude of autoimmune diseases.
Tears are Made Up of Three Layers:
- Lipid (oil) layer: lubricates and prevents evaporation
- Aqueous (water) layer: nourishes and protects the cornea
- Mucin layer: adheres tears to the eye
Common Dry Eye Symptoms:
- Discomfort and irritation
- Grittiness or feeling of a foreign body in the eye
- Burning or stinging sensation
- Vision disturbance
- Sensitivity to light
Lifestyle Impacts from Dry Eye Syndrome:
- Difficulty performing visual tasks, such as reading, using a computer, driving and watching television
- Inability to wear contact lenses
- Constant use of eye drops
- Trouble being out in the sun
- Symptoms that worsen late in the day