Eyes are designed to produce a continuous stream of tears at a slow and steady pace. Some people do not generate enough, or sufficient quality tears to keep their eyes hydrated and healthy. This very common condition is known as dry eye.
Classic indicators of dry eye include blurry vision, itching, stinging, leaky mucus, and other irritation. Excessive tearing can sometimes develop in response to the discomfort. Tear glands tend to release a higher volume of tears when the eyes are irritated. This causes the drainage system to become overwhelmed, causing an overflow of tears.
Age is often a factor, as tear production declines as we grow older. This is especially true for post-menopausal women who may benefit from dry eye treatment after the change of life. Other health conditions, such as Sjögren’s syndrome, can cause symptoms of dry eye.
Your doctor at The Pinnacle Eye Group of Lambertville can diagnose dry eye with a standard eye examination. Sometimes it is also necessary to measure tear production. We assess tear production by placing strips of filter paper between your lower lid and eyeball. Diagnostic eye drops may also be used to look for patches of dryness on the surface of the eye.
Dry eye treatment in Lambertville may include eye drops to add fluid and lubricate the eye surface. Your eye doctor may choose to close the channels through which tears drain to conserve moisture. You can also attempt dry eye treatment on your own by avoiding hair dryers, dry air or wind that evaporates tears. Avoid smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke.