At our offices in Fresno (Herndon and Downtown), dry eye is a fairly common condition experienced by women, men and children. Dry eye syndrome occurs when the tears produced fail to adequately lubricate and protect our eyes. Even though the causes of this condition can vary, it’s most associated with age; millions of Americans over 50 have dry eye symptoms.
What Is Dry Eye?
Dry eye syndrome is a bit more complicated than its name implies. Even though most people who suffer from this intolerable condition feel that their eyes are noticeably dry. Tears produced each time we blink are crucial to eye health. Tears, however, aren’t just saltwater.
Our tears are made up of 3 important layers:
External oily layer
Middle watery layer
Inner mucus-based layer
These 3 different glands produce tears and having a problem with any of the layers can create dry eye syndrome. There are actually vast categories of dry eyes, depending on which layer is affected. The lacrimal gland, which produces the watery layer , is usually the culprit of dry eyes.
Dry Eye Symptoms
What does it feel to have dry eye syndrome? There is actually a wide range of symptoms, but they typically include at least one or more of the following:
The feeling like your eyes are stinging and burning
Scratchy or gritty feeling like something is in your eye
Strings of mucus in or around your eyes
Your eyes are red or irritated, especially when you are in the wind or near cigarette fumes
Painful to wear contact lenses
Notice lots of tears in your eyes
Dry eye syndrome is a common condition that rarely poses a risk to a patient’s sight, but it can be very uncomfortable and cause infections or other secondary conditions. At Eye Medical Center of Fresno, our eye doctors base their treatment recommendations on a thorough eye exam, including the skin surrounding the eyes and your eyes’ movements when you blink. Your doctor may recommend 1 of these treatments or a combination of them:
Prescription or over-the-counter drops: Artificial tears prescribed by your eye doctor or products you can buy at the drug store can both reduce inflammation and add moisture. Your doctor will recommend the option that’s best for your condition.
In-office procedures: These quick, comfortable, and effective procedures for dry eye can range from temporarily plugging the drainage ducts to expressing the glands that produce the oil component of tears. These glands can occasionally become clogged and create dry eye symptoms.
Home care: Some steps you can take on your own to reduce the symptoms of dry eye, include trying to blink more frequently, especially when you’re working on the computer, investing in high-quality sunglasses that shield your eyes from wind as well as sun, and taking care to remove all of your eye makeup and thoroughly wash your face at the end of the day.
At Eye Medical Center of Fresno, our experienced ophthalmologists provide personalized treatment for patients with dry eye syndrome. Request an appointment using our online form, or call our office at (559) 486-5000 to schedule an appointment at one of our 2 locations.
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