“My eye is so watery why am I being diagnosed with Dry Eye Syndrome?!”
What is Dry Eye?
A common eye problem affecting an estimated 7.4% – 33.7% of the general population; characterized by a disruption of the front layer of the eye called the tear film. This layer provides the front of the eye a healthy buffer from air exposure and a significant amount of the focusing power for clear vision. For any eye procedures the tear film is one of the most important layers to regulate as it affects the outcome of laser and cataract surgeries; so, it may not be uncommon for the ophthalmologists to prescribe eyedrops before taking any measurements of your eye.
Dry Eye Syndrome can be commonly caused by excessive contact lens wear, exposure to extreme weather conditions, long periods of screen use, and hormonal changes to name a few. To understand your surface of the eye our doctors or (Dry eye Clinic) will ask thorough questions, observe blinking patterns, examine the front of the eye, then stain the ocular surface with fluorescein dye to evaluate stability of the tear film.
Tearing is a common side effect of dry eye syndrome as the brain is being stimulated to produce more tears to keep the eye moist. Other symptoms include:
- Sandy or gritty feeling
- Scratchy or foreign-body sensation
- Frequent blinking
- Crusting on eyelashes
- Red eyes
- Blurry or fluctuating vision especially worse when using electronics, driving or reading
- Light sensitivity
- Heavy eye lids
- Eye fatigue
The treatment and management of dry eye has become quite effective with new research being conducted every day on eyedrops and technology! It’s common to start off with the use of artificial tears and an eyelid hygiene regime. Ultimately, most people who keep up with the recommended regime provided by their doctor will control their progression of dry eye allowing them to function symptom-free or with minimal difficulty.
Find out if you’re experiencing dry eye symptoms with the questionnaire here!