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Lyndhurst, NJ 07071
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Dry Eyes

Dry EyeNew Jersey Dry Eye Treatment

Do you have dry eyes? Dry eyes can be extremely painful and be a major distraction from focusing on daily activities. Up to 12 million Americans suffer from a disease called dry eye syndrome. People with dry eyes frequently experience burning and stinging of their eyes, their eyes often feel sticky, and their eyes are often red. Some people with dry eyes also have periods when their eyes get so watery that tears spill over their eyelids and run down their cheeks.

The Importance of Tears in Dry Eye Syndrome

Your eyes normally make small amounts of tears all day long. Tears play several important roles in keeping your eyes healthy and your vision clear. Tears lubricate the eye’s surface, wash away debris, and provide a smooth surface to help keep your vision clear. They also contain natural antibiotics that keep your eyes safe from germs that might cause infections.

Tears coat the eye in a smooth film made up of three separate layers. The layer of tears closest to the front surface of the eye is called the mucin layer. Its job is to smooth out the uneven spots on the eye surface. Next, a layer of aqueous tears covers the mucin layer. The aqueous layer is watery, and makes up the majority of the tear film. Its job is to lubricate the eye and keep it moist. The final layer of the tear film is an oily layer called the lipid layer. This is the outermost layer, and its job is to cover the aqueous layer and prevent it from evaporating.

Each layer of the tear film is made by a different part of the eye. The mucin layer is made by the eye surface itself. The aqueous layer is made by a tear gland tucked under the upper eyelid, and the lipid layer is made by small glands in the eyelids. For the tear film to do its job, all three layers have to be in their proper places in the correct amounts, like a recipe. If any layer is missing or abnormal (which can happen for a number of reasons) the tear film becomes disorganized and no longer soothes the eye like it should.

When that happens, the symptoms of dry eye syndrome occur. The front surface of the eye gets dried out (causing stickiness) and gets inflamed (causing stinging and burning). Once it gets inflamed, the eye ignores the proper tear film recipe and starts making large quantities of the aqueous layer in an effort to soothe itself. These bad tears don’t soothe the eye at all—they just run down your face, washing away the mucin and lipid layers as well. This makes the eye even more irritated, so it makes even more bad tears, and the cycle continues.

For some people, the stinging and burning and redness and watering may seem like little more than a nuisance, but in fact, if left untreated, dry eye syndrome can lead to serious eye problems, including blindness. Dry eyes are inflamed eyes. Inflammation of the front surface of the eye increases the risk of some infections and can lead to scarring. Once scarring occurs, there is a risk of permanent loss of sight.

If you have symptoms of dry eye syndrome, ask your doctor for a dry eye evaluation. Eye treatments are available to halt the disease and save your sight.

Are you seeking a New Jersey dry eye specialist? If so please feel free to contact us for a professional dry eye diagnosis. Our New Jersey dry eye doctors are conveniently located in Lyndhurst.

Causes & Symptoms of Dry Eye Dry Eye Syndrome Symptoms

  • Burning sensation in the eyes
  • Scratchiness or itchiness in the eye
  • Stingy mucus like secretion
  • Feeling something in the eye
  • Decreased vision, usually mild to moderate
  • Tiredness of eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Contact lens intolerance
  • Blurred vision

 

Most Common Causes of Dry Eye

10 Causes of Dry Eye Syndrome

  1. Aging Eyes - As people age it is completely natural that the tears we produce have less oil in them. The aging population has specific dry eye related problems.
  2. Environmental factors - Environmental factors like windy climates or desert like climates cause dry eyes. Additionally, the use of air conditioning can cause this as well. You may wake up in the morning after being near and air conditioner and experience this.
  3. Meibomian gland dysfunction - Patients with this dysfunction typically present with symptoms of burning, irritation, dryness, and decreased contact lens wearing time. The diagnosis is made by inspection of the glands and their secretions.
  4. Menopause in women - Females entering menopause are among the most prone to dry eye.
  5. Work environment - Some work environments that are dusty and windy may be harmful to patients more likely to develop dry eye syndrome.
  6. Medications - Antihistamines and decongestants may cause dry eyes but other medications can cause dry eye as well (These medications include, pain relievers, antihistamines, tranquilizers, oral contraceptives, beta blockers, diuretics, and antidepressants).
  7. Contact lens use - Wearing contact lenses can contribute to dry eye. Please consult your contact lens provider for specific questions about your particular type of contacts or schedule an appointment with our Dry Eye Center to discuss this issue.
  8. Computer screen reading - Sitting in front of the computer for hours may cause you to blink less and also cause dry eyes. Many people are studying something called computer vision syndrome as well.
  9. Certain diseases - There are diseases linked to chronic dry eye. Has your eye doctor ever discussed these with you before? The most popular disease linked to dry eye is Sjogren's syndrome, but other diseases that impact dry eyes are keratoconjuntivitis, sicca, xerophthalmia, lupus erythematosus, Grave’s disease, diabetes, and scleroderma.
  10. Vitamin A deficiency - This uncommon vitamin deficiency exists with chronic failure to eat sufficient amounts of vitamin A or beta-carotene. This results in levels of blood-serum vitamin A that are below a defined range. Beta-carotene is a form of pre-vitamin A, which is readily converted to vitamin A in the body. Night blindness is the first symptom of vitamin A deficiency. Prolonged and severe vitamin A deficiency can produce total and irreversible blindness.