Are you tired of living with dry, irritated eyes? At Eye Care Physicians of New Jersey, our skilled team of eye care specialists has the expertise to help diagnose and treat your dry eyes for a more comfortable you! We use only the most up-to-date treatments and techniques to ensure that you receive the best results possible.
Dry eyes are caused when your tears do not provide enough lubrication for your eyes. This can cause discomfort, stinging, or burning. Dry eyes may also be experienced in certain situations such as on an airplane while looking at a screen for a long time, or in an air-conditioned space.
Common symptoms of dry eye include:
- Stinging, burning, or itchy eyes.
- Sensitivity to light.
- Strings of mucus around the eyes.
- Eye redness.
- Difficulty wearing contact lenses.
- Problems with night driving.
- Water eyes
- Blurred vision or strained eyes.
In order to understand what causes dry eye, it is important to understand how tears work. When you blink, a film of tears spreads over the eye to keep it clear and smooth. Tear film is made up of three layers including an oily layer, a watery layer, and a mucus layer. Each layer of tear film serves a specific purpose. The oily layer ensures that the tear surface is smooth and keeps tears from drying up quickly. The watery layer makes up most of what we see as tears. It cleans the eye and washes away dirt and particles that can irritate the eye. The mucus layer helps to spread the watery layer over the surface of the eye to keep it moist. Without mucus, tears would not stick to the eye.
When the eyes do not produce enough tears or the layers of tear film are affected, dry eyes occur. Age, certain medical conditions, certain medications, or corneal nerve sensitivity can lead to a reduction in tear production.
In order to diagnose dry eye, a number of tests may be performed such as an eye exam, a test to measure the volume of your tears, or a test to determine the quality of your tears. After diagnosis, a treatment plan can be created. For most people with mild dry eye symptoms, over-the-counter eyedrops can help with symptoms. However, if your symptoms are more serious, other treatment options are available, including:
- Drugs to reduce inflammation of the eyelids: Inflammation of the eyelids can stop oil glands from secreting oil into your tears. Antibiotics may be prescribed to reduce this inflammation.
- Eyedrops to control inflammation of the cornea: Inflammation of the surface of the cornea may be treated with prescription eyedrops that contain cyclosporine or corticosteroids.
- Tear-stimulating drugs: Drugs known as cholinergics increase tear production.
- Autologous blood serum drops: These eyedrops are made from your own blood and are an option for those with severe dry eyes that do not respond to other treatments. To create these drops, a sample of your blood is processed to remove the red blood cells, which are mixed with a salt solution.
- Closing the tear ducts: This treatment can keep your tears from leaving your eye too quickly, which is done by closing the tear ducts.
- Special contact lenses: There are some new types of contact lenses that are made to specifically made to help those with dry eyes.
- Unblocking oil glands: Warm eye masks and compresses used daily can hep to clear up blocked oil glands.
Patients who have had prolonged symptoms of dry eyes, including tired, red, or irritated eyes can benefit from a visit to our office. Our team of eye care specialists will help to diagnose and treat what is bothering your eyes for a more comfortable daily routine. Contact us today to schedule your initial appointment!
Patients who are tired of living with dry eye can benefit from our dry eye remedies! Simply give our office a call today to schedule your appointment.