What is Dry Eye Disease/Syndrome? Tears function to protect the eyes and keep them lubricated and comfortable. Dry Eye Disease is the decline of the quantity and/or quality of the tears produced. It is caused when the tear glands in the upper and lower eyelids do not product enough tears or the right kind of tears. Dry Eye Disease is the most common of all eye disorders affecting approximately 5 million people per year. 60% are post-menopausal women.
Why are tears important? Tears are important because they keep your eyes moist and healthy and protect the surface of your eyes. If there is a deficiency and not enough tear film is produced, dry spots may form indicating possible damage to the eye’s surface.
The Three Layers of the Tear Film: The oil layer keeps the year film from evaporating, the water/aqueous layer contains water and nutrients to nourish the cornea, the mucus layer spreads the tear film evenly across the cornea.
Symptoms: · Scratchiness or the feeling of sand in your eyes · Redness · Dryness, burning or itching · Irritation followed by tearing · Blurred or changed vision · Sensitivity to light · Difficulty moving your eyelids
Types of Dry Eye Disease: Evaporative Dry Eye: Includes environmental conditions, eyelid inflammation and lid surface anomalies. Tear-Deficient Dry Eye: Includes Sjogren’s syndrome and Non-Sjogren’s and medically induced
Diagnosis of Dry Eye Disease This disease is one of the most under-diagnosed problems. There is not one specific test and diagnosis can be difficult due to the wide range of diverse presenting symptoms.
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