Affecting upwards of 20 million people dry eyes can lead to significant discomfort and even visual loss. Depending on the cause of the dry eye condition symptoms may occur anywhere from early morning to late in the evening. Diagnostic testing is important in ascertaining the cause of the problem because treatment regimens can be tailored to treat the underlyig condition.
Interestingly the tear layer of the eye actually has 3 components and different diseases can target one or more of these layers. The inner tear layer is the mucinous layer made by the goblet cells lining the eye. If this layer is affected as in some immunologic disorders the eye won't be able to support the second layer of the tears known as the aqueous layer. The aqueous layer formed mainly be the lacrimal gland can be reduced by chronic inflammation caused by such things as air pollution, contact lens wear, and even medications can be treated in many ways ranging from topical lubricants, anti-inflammatory medications, plugs to decrease tear drainage, diet, and avoiding the offending agents, amongst other treatments.
The lipid layer forms the outer layer of the tears and is responsible for preventing the rapid evaporation of your tears. Diseases that affect the lid margin are responsible for damaging this component of your tears.
At North Shore Eye Care we are experts at diagnosing and treating this condition. As dry eye disease is common in the elderly who also have other ocular problems such as cataracts, properly diagnosing and treating this condition can not only improve comfort but also lead to better vision, thus avoiding a potentially unnecessary operation.