WHAT IS DRY EYE DISEASE?
Dry Eye Disease occurs when the eyes do not produce enough tears to lubricate the ocular surface, or when they produce poor quality tears. Symptoms can range from subtle irritation to constant burning and stinging sensations. Dry Eye Disease is often a chronic condition and may progress over time without treatment.
The tear film of the eye is made up of three layers. The innermost mucin layer helps to anchor the tears to the ocular surface, the middle aqueous layer provides the bulk of the tears, and the outer lipid layer keeps the tears from evaporating. A deficiency in any of these layers may contribute to Dry Eye Disease.
Symptoms of Dry Eye Disease include:
- Watery eyes
- Gritty/sandy feeling
- Fluctuating vision
- Inability to wear contact lenses
- Sensitivity to light
Factors that contribute to Dry Eye Disease include:
- Dry environments (including frequent airline travel)
- Prolonged computer or near work
- Contact lens wear
- Cigarette smoke
- Caffeine intake
- Autoimmune disease
- Certain medications (antihistamines, antidepressants, oral contraceptives, hormone replacement therapy, acne treatment, diuretics)
Call us today to schedule your comprehensive exam with one of our Houston eye doctors and find out if Dry Eye Disease is affecting you.