Two Kinds of Dry Eye

Up to 15% of Americans have dry eyes, a condition that occurs when you either don’t produce enough tears, or your tears are of poor quality. Either way, your tears don’t sufficiently lubricate your eyes, and you end up with uncomfortable symptoms like red, itchy, burning eyes. 

In many cases, dry eyes are due to your environment or lifestyle, but this uncomfortable condition can also develop from problems with your tear production.

Here at Paragon Eye Associates in Arlington and Mansfield, Texas, our expert optometrists and ophthalmologists diagnose dry eyes during comprehensive eye exams and provide customized treatments to improve the quality and quantity of your tears and relieve your symptoms. 

About dry eyes

The starting point for understanding dry eyes is to learn about your tears. Your tears have three layers, and each one plays a critical role in keeping your eyes clean and moist.

When you don’t produce enough of any of these components or not enough tears at all, you develop dry eye symptoms, including itching, burning, and aching. Your eyes might also become red and sensitive to light. You can have blurry vision because of dry eyes as well.

Evaporative dry eyes

Evaporative dry eye is the most common type of dry eye. Around 86% of people with dry eyes don’t produce enough of the oily tear component. 

As your meibomian glands produce the oily part of your tears, this condition is sometimes called meibomian gland dysfunction. Without a sufficient amount of oil, your tears evaporate too quickly and fail to keep your eyes clean and moist. 

Aqueous dry eyes 

Aqueous dry eyes is caused by a problem with your lacrimal glands and reduces the amount of the watery part of your tears. As a result, your tears are too concentrated, and there isn’t sufficient volume of tears to clean debris and dust from your eyes and moisten them. 

In addition to problems with your tear glands, some of the other factors that contribute to dry eyes include spending too much time looking at screens, wearing contact lenses, and living in a dry environment. However, other health issues can also cause dry eyes. 

When to talk to an eye doctor about dry eyes

You should make an appointment to talk to our experienced ophthalmologists if you have persistent dry eye symptoms that interfere with your vision or comfort. 

Our team offers expert diagnosis and state-of-the-art treatments for dry eyes, including artificial tears, punctal plugs, and the innovative iLux® treatment. During your exam, we also review your overall health history. We can recommend that you make an appointment with your primary care provider if you have warning signs of any health issues that contribute to dry eyes. 

You don’t have to suffer from dry eye symptoms. Call our offices in Arlington and Mansfield, Texas, or send a message to our team online today to schedule a comprehensive eye exam and get the treatment you need to keep your eyes clean, moist, and healthy.

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