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Dry Eye

Dry Eye Treatment with our Longmont Optometrists

Dry eye syndrome is a condition marked by a lack of sufficient lubricating tears in the eyes. This condition can exist even in the presence of watery eyes or crying because the tears the eye use for lubrication aren't the same type. It causes many uncomfortable and sometimes outright painful, effects. Treatment for dry eye syndrome is one of the most common reasons people visit our Longmont eye doctors here at Eagle Vision & Eye Clinic.

man rubbing his eyes because of dry eye syndrome

Symptoms of Dry Eye

One of the most common symptoms is a feeling of scratchiness or of something being stuck in your eye. Your eyes may also become red, sensitive to light, ache, and feel heavy or fatigued. Over time, soreness can develop. You may also experience blurry vision.

Possible Causes of Dry Eye

Sometimes, dry eye has a fairly benign cause, such as staring at a computer screen for hours without blinking often enough. Infrequent blinking stops the tear layer from being refreshed as often as it should be, and the eyes become dry.

At other times, the cause is more complex. Lubricating tears have three main components, and the failure of the relevant glands to produce any one of these can cause dry eye. The components are:

  • An oily layer, produced by the Meibomian glands located in the eyelids
  • A watery layer, made by lacrimal glands behind the outer part of the upper eyelids
  • A mucin layer, made by special cells in the conjunctiva – the outer coating of the eye itself.

In many cases of dry eye, dysfunction of the Meibomian glands is at least partly at fault. An insufficient oily layer allows the watery part of the tears to evaporate too quickly. This is referred to as Meibomian gland dysfunction.

Sometimes, the eye doesn't produce enough of the watery component of the tears. Then, it is called aqueous deficiency dry eye.

These issues can be brought on by a wide variety of things, including spending too much time in overly-dry environments, taking medications like anti-allergy pills, diseases like diabetes and lupus, and even a diet low in essential fatty acids. Wearing contact lenses for too long can also cause dry eye.

The Importance of Regular Eye Exams

When you see your optometrist in Longmont on a regular basis, he can spot dry eye before it causes you great discomfort. He can also help you pin down the cause so that you can make any needed changes. Of course, he'll also prescribe any needed medications, such as eye drops, to help your eyes get the lubrication they need.

Contact Our Optometrists in Longmont Today

If your eyes have been dry or scratchy, there's no need to just put up with these uncomfortable symptoms. Make an appointment with us here at Eagle Vision & Eye Clinic in Longmont, CO today. Call us at (303) 651-2020.