Do You Have Dry Eyes?

Do You Have Dry Eyes?

VAL-Uvision is locally owned and operated in Jacksonville for almost 40 years. Our board certified optometrists are qualified and ready to meet your eye care needs to day.

Dry eye is one of the most common eye conditions that our Jacksonville optometrists treat. In this article, I will discuss the different causes and treatments for dry eyes. One solution does not fit all when talking about dry eye. And as common as the problem of dry eye is, finding the correct treatment is not always as simple as using an eye drop. Proper eye care is all about finding the right solution for the patients needs. VAL-Uvision eye doctors in Jacksonville are trained to help patients with dry eye problems.

The tears are made of three layers; the mucous, aqueous or watery middle layer, and lipid or oil layer. The lipid layer is the top layer closest to the outer environment. Along our eyelid margins are oil glands that secrete the lipid layer. If these glands become clogged, this layer is absent and the tears break up too quickly and evaporate. This causes one form of dry eye. For these patients, the solution is to unclog these oil glands by gently cleansing the eyelids nightly. A rewetting drop that is a little thicker can also help to keep the tears from evaporating.

For other patients, the front surface of the eye can become inflamed by disease or chemical burns. This then interferes with the signals to the gland that secretes the watery, middle layer. This causes insufficient tears to be produced. Age, hormonal changes in women, and LASIK surgery can also contribute to lowered tear production. For these patients, a prescription drop called Restasis helps quiet those confusing signals and helps that gland produce tears as it should. If a patient has the first type of dry eye mentioned, Restasis would not help because it is not addressing the correct problem.

Yet another treatment is placing a very small plug of collagen or silicone into the opening of the tear duct, to create a pool of tears to keep the eye moist. The plugs aren’t felt by the patient and, in some cases, reduce or eliminate the need for rewetting drops. This treatment is tried out first with the collagen plugs that will dissolve after 2 weeks. If the trial period works, silicone plugs that don’t dissolve are put in permanently.

To determine the correct treatment for a case of dry, sandy, burning eyes, a patient must undergo the right diagnostic tests to identify the underlying problem. These tests are quick, simple, and can be performed by any of our locations in JAX. We even have an optometrist in Mandarin, FL. If you are experiencing dry eyes, talk to your eye doctor during your eye exams so the proper tests can be conducted.

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