Frequently Asked Questions About Dry Eye From Our Seattle Optometry Center
You may not have paid much attention to the term "dry eye" until you started experiencing its discomfort for yourself. It's time for solutions, so here are some answers to frequently asked dry eye questions at SPEX Eye Care, our Seattle optometry center.
What Is Dry Eye?
Dry eye is classified as a syndrome, a set of associated symptoms that relate to a particular underlying condition. It's a situation in which your eyes cannot maintain the right kind of tear film to keep your eyes, protected, lubricated and hydrated.
What Is the Tear Film?
The tear film is a three-layered coating of tears that (ideally) covers the front of the eyes every time you blink. It consists of a bottom layer of mucous, a middle layer of water, and a top layer of oil. The oil is added to the tear film by special eyelid glands known as meibomian glands.
What Causes Dry Eye?
A windy environment can cause temporary dryness, while medications, underlying diseases, or simple old age can lead to chronic underproduction of tears. If you're always on your computer, you may blink so infrequently that you fail to refresh your tear film. Clogged meibomian glands may fail to function, leaving the tears without the oil that keeps them from evaporating.
What Are the Symptoms of Dry Eye?
Dry eye typically causes an itchy, burning, or "something in your eye" sensation. You may have crusty eyes or unusual sensitivity to glare. Blurred vision, "heavy eyelids" and red eyes are other common symptoms.
Can Dry Eye Damage My Eyes?
If you let severe dry eye go untreated for too long, your eyes can indeed sustain damage. That's because the corneas aren't sufficiently protected by tears, making them prone to injury or disease.
How Is Dry Eye Diagnosed?
We diagnose a case of dry eye through a number of methods, including inspection of the eyes and discussion of any symptoms you're having. If we suspect dry eye, we will measure and analyze your tear film quantity and composition to confirm the diagnosis.
How Does Your Optometry Clinic Treat Dry Eye?
Treatment options at our optometry include lifestyle or environmental changes, medicated or non-medicated eye drops, and treatments to open up your meibomian glands.
Can I Wear Contacts With Dry Eye?
Ordinary contacts can aggravate dry eye. Fortunately, we can fit you with specialized lenses that help keep your eyes moist.
Get Your Dry Eye Answers at SPEX Eye Care
SPEX Eye Care has all your dry eye answers. Call either of our offices to schedule an evaluation and treatment!