Posted in Patient Education, Resources

Burning, itchy, sore, fatigued or a general achy sensation can all be symptoms of dry eye, a condition in which a person doesn’t have enough quality tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. Anyone can suffer from the symptoms of dry eye. As one of the most common eye conditions worldwide (and a common reason for visits to your friendly eye doctors at Restoration Eye Care), chances are if you’re reading this, you or someone love is currently experiencing the uncomfortable and inconvenient symptoms of dry eye.

In order to help our patients understand the symptoms, causes and treatment options for dry eye our team of expert ophthalmologists put together this helpful dry eye Q & A:


What causes dry eye?

Dry eye syndrome is caused by a chronic absence of adequate lubrication and moisture on the surface of the eye — you know, good old fashioned tears! Tears lubricate the eye’s surface to keep it moist to wash away dust, debris and microorganisms that could damage the cornea or lead to eye infections. As such the symptoms associated with dry eye have three main causes:

  • Decreased Tear Production
  • Increased Tear Evaporation
  • An Imbalance in Tear Composition

Causes of decreased tear production include:

  • Aging
  • Certain Medical Conditions (such as diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis)
  • Certain Medications
  • Tear Gland Damage

Causes of increased tear evaporation include:

  • Environmental Factors (such as wind, smoke or dry air)
  • Infrequent Blinking (typically occurring during periods of extended concentration, such as working at a computer)
  • Eyelid Problems

Causes for imbalanced tear composition include:

The tear film has three basic layers (oil, water and mucus), problems with any of these layers can cause dry eyes. This is commonly associated with blocked, clogged or inflamed glands.


Dry Eye Symptoms:

  • Burning Sensation
  • Itchy Eyes
  • Aching Sensations
  • Heavy Eyes
  • Fatigued Eyes
  • Sore Eyes
  • Dryness Sensation
  • Red Eyes
  • Photophobia
  • Blurred Vision
  • Foreign Body Sensation
  • Tearing or Watering of the Eyes (especially the case in poor lipid tear production also known as Meibomian Gland Dysfunction)


What are the function of tears, why are they so important to ocular health?

Performing a variety of important functions, each central to the health of your eyes, tears:

  • Preventing Dryness
  • Provide Lubrication for a Smooth Corneal Surface
  • Preventing Infections
  • Healing the Surface of the Eye
  • Supplying Oxygen and Nutrients to the Eye
  • Washing Out Foreign Bodies


What is Dry Eye - woman rubbing her eyes from eye strain while on the computer

Dry Eyes Treatment: General Tips

Because dry eyes can be caused by so many different factors it is important to consult a doctor to determine the exact cause of your symptoms — and ultimately determine which treatment is right for you. Foruntantley there are a variety of solutions and temporary treatments that you can use to lessen your symptoms:

  • Use a humidifier at home and in your workplace.
  • Wear sunglasses outdoors, particularly those with a wrap-around frame design to reduce exposure to drying winds and sun.
  • Blink regularly!
  • Don’t rub your eyes —  even though it may feel good temporarily, it can irritate your eyes.
  • Use over-the-counter artificial tears.

Other simple home remedies for dry eye could include:

  • A Warm Compress
  • Eyelid Scrubs
  • Omega-3 Supplements


What permanent treatment options are there for dry eyes?

After diagnosing and evaluating your ocular surface health, your doctor may recommend an in-office treatment. These therapeutic treatments are typically designed to aid your eye in the natural lubrication and protection of the ocular surface. This is done by manually cleaning or expressing the clogged tear producing oil glands around your eyelids, helping to enable your eye to lubricate and protect itself.

Many patients who have moderate to severe dry eye or ocular surface issues have found these treatments to be very effective.


Which solution is right for you?

By increasing their natural ocular surface health, many patients have felt an increase in gland health, an increase eye comfort, and a reduction in dependence on drops or tears. At Restoration Eye Care we’re proud to offer multiple dry eye treatments based on each patient’s specific needs. Contact us to schedule a free consultation and get started on the path to better vision health and comfort.

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