What is Dry Eye?

Dry eye occurs when the eye does not produce tears properly, or when the tears are not of the correct consistency and evaporate too quickly.

Dry eyes affect over 10 million people in the United States. This eye disorder is often characterized by a lack of tear production or instability of the tear. Symptoms often involve mild to severe discomfort that can potentially be vision disabling. In an effort to help our patients The Eye Care Institute is dedicating a special division of our practice to dry eye treatment and management. Only a dry eye specialist can properly treat and diagnose this disorder.


What is dry eye?

Dry EyeDry eye sounds like the description, and is characterized by a lack of the tear production to properly lubricate the eyes. Tears are vital to the healthy functioning of the eye. Dry eye syndrome is medically known as Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca and is defined as inflammation and drying of the Conjunctiva due to a lack of, or inadequate, tear production. Dry eye may develop for a wide variety of reasons including environment, lack of enough drinking water and even antihistamines. This condition is actually quite common and increases in frequency with age. The most common symptoms include pain from irritation, a sandy feeling, and lack of tolerance when wearing contact lenses. Treatment options for dry eye syndrome include over the counter lubricating drops, a drug known as Restasis®, punctual plugs and even Omega 3 Fish Oil supplements. For more information contact us directly.

Your eyes need to function properly and without the appropriate levels of lubrication this is not possible. The natural tears that are produced in the eyes is what creates the moisture required to maintain vision and overall healthy, comfortable eyes. Once an imbalance occurs in tear production, dry eye syndrome sets in and as mentioned previously there are many reasons that this can occur. Please see our section regarding causes and symptoms for more specific information.


Steps to Freedom from Dry Eyes

If you are simply seeking to relieve your eyes from dryness and you are seeking the best Louisville dry eye specialists you can follow the steps below to start the process of healing.

  1. Schedule Appointment with a Dry Eye Doctor or Specialist
  2. Complete the new patient medical history questionnaire
  3. Familiarize yourself with terms from this dry eye website

People Most at Risk for Dry Eye

Our aging population is typically the group that is most at risk for dry eye impacts on lifestyle. Typically speaking, dry eye syndrome affects more women than men and is also prevalent during menopause. See more related to those at risk in the causes and symptoms of dry eye page.


Evolution of Dry Eye in Your Eyes

These four main steps may help you understand the history of major changes within your eyes that ultimately lead to dry eye syndrome.

  1. Loss of water in the tear film
  2. Decreased conjunctival cell density
  3. Increased cornea epithelial shedding as a result of exposure to drops
  4. Destabilizing of the cornea tear section