Dry Eye Disease (DED) affects millions of adults in the United States. Dry Eye Disease occurs when the quantity and/or quality of tears fails to keep the surface of the eye adequately lubricated.
In a healthy eye, tears continuously bathe the cornea, the clear, dome-shaped outer surface of the eye. When the composition of the tears changes, the health of the eye and vision are compromised.
Tears are a complex mixture of fatty oils, water, mucus, and more than 1500 different proteins that keep the surface of the eye smooth and protected from the environment, irritants, and infectious pathogens.
When any component is deficient, Dry Eye Disease develops
Dry eye causes
When any component if the tear film is deficient ( see above), Dry Eye Disease develops.
Factors that can contribute to DED include the following:
Staying well hydrated sounds very basic and it is, but it’s the first step to preventing dry eyes. When we become dehydrated the body diverts fluid towards functions other than producing tears, so staying hydrated is the first line of defense.
So you’ve done all you can to try to prevent dry eye disease but you are still having symptoms and/or your eye exam still shows that the eyes are dry,
First line of treatment is always prevention, so continue to work to prevent dry eyes, then add to those efforts:
Punctal Plugs made of silicone or collagen may be inserted into the puncta on the lids to partially or completely plug the space on the inner corners of the eye to keep tears from draining from the eye. Plugs help keep your own tears on your eyes longer.
86 % of patients with Dry Eye Disease have blocked Meibomian Glands (MGD). If the meibomian glands are blocked, the lipid layer will be reduced, allowing rapid evaporation of tears.
Furthermore, if the gland secretions become trapped inside the glands, inflammation and bacteria can follow, worsening the problem.
Lipiflow is an in-office treatment designed to restore the natural oil flow from the glands to support a healthy tear film.
TrueTears by Allergan allows patients to generate all three components of their own tears by briefly stimulating a nerve inside the nose.
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