Your eyes rely on tears to keep them clean, to lubricate them, and to protect them from bacteria and foreign bodies. When your tears aren’t doing all the things they’re supposed to, it can make your eyes feel irritated and uncomfortable. In extreme cases, it may even lead to corneal ulcers and scarring. We call a chronic lack of healthy tears dry eye or dry eye disease.
Hayden Optometric Inc. would like to help find the cause of your dry eyes and provide a solution to treat your symptoms.
The symptoms of dry eye disease may include:
Your eyes need a certain volume of tears to function at an optimal level. Some cases of dry eye develop when the tear glands simply don’t produce the sufficient tear volume to keep the eyes hydrated.
Healthy tears contain an oil called meibum which keeps the tears from evaporating off of the eye’s surface too quickly. If the meibomian glands become blocked or they don’t produce enough meibum, the tears no longer have the protective film they need to keep them from evaporating. As the tears continue to evaporate, the eyes become dry and irritated.
Your upper and lower eyelids feature drainage ducts designed to give excess tears somewhere to go. Punctal plugs are small biocompatible devices which are inserted into the drainage ducts. With the drainage ducts blocked, the tears can stay on the eye’s surface, hydrating it more effectively.
In addition to other potential eye health benefits, certain dietary supplements like omega-3 fatty acids may help prevent or treat dry eye by giving your body’s systems, including your visual system, all of the nutrients it needs to function properly.
Dr. Hayden has formulated his own line of omega-3s to keep your eyes healthy and comfortable.
In some cases, dry eye disease is linked to another condition called blepharitis. One of the most important elements of preventing and treating blepharitis is maintaining anf eyelid hygiene routine. Some patients like to use gentle baby shampoo to cleanse your their upper and lower lids and lashes every day.
We recommend purchasing a cleanser specifically designed to clean the eyelids and prevent the buildup of biofilm. Dr. Hayden has created a line of eye wipes for the express purpose of maintaining eyelid hygiene and health.