Dry eyes are often not just dry. Dry eyes may be inflamed, or worse, infected. Even occasional dry eyes can interfere with your daily activities. At Advanced Eyecare in Blue Springs, Raytown, and Raymore, our eye doctors can ease your dry eye discomfort using a variety of treatments.
What Is Dry Eye?
Dry eye is the result of an issue in the tear film that covers the eye. A healthy tear film has three layers consisting of fatty oils, aqueous fluid, and mucus. Problems with your tear film can result from hormonal changes, autoimmune disease, or medications that cause a decrease in tear production or an increase in tear evaporation.
What Causes Dry Eye?
In simplest terms, dry eye is caused by a decrease in the amount or quality of your tears or an increase in tear evaporation. The specific cause of these physical changes can vary.
Decreased Tear Production
Some common reasons for reduced tear production include:
- Aging. Tear production tends to diminish with age. Individuals over the age of 50 are more likely to have dry eye.
- Certain medical conditions or hormonal changes brought about by pregnancy, birth control, or menopause can cause dry eye.
- Certain medications used in the treatment of diseases such as Parkinson's, depression, or colds may contribute to dry eye.
If you are experiencing dry eye, consult with one of our family eye doctors for a diagnosis.
Increased Tear Evaporation
The glands at the edge of your eyelids (meibomian glands) produce the oily film that helps keep your tears from evaporating. If the glands become clogged, dry eyes can result. Schedule an appointment with one of our optometrists to determine if your meibomian glands are blocked. Some factors that may lead to dry eye include the following:
- Infrequent blinking. People tend to blink less when using a computer screen or similar activities.
- Eyelid misalignment.
- Allergies. The treatment of seasonal allergies can impact tear production and evaporation.
- Wind, smoke, or dry air. Certain atmospheric conditions can cause tears to evaporate more quickly.
- Poor diet. A lack of vitamin A or omega-3 fatty acids can increase the risks of tear dysfunction.
Dry Eye Treatment at Advanced Eyecare
The best way to determine if you have dry eyes is to visit our eye doctors at Advanced Eye Care in Blue Springs, Raymore, and Raytown. We will perform a comprehensive eye exam and develop a treatment plan for your dry eye. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.