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Dry Eye FAQ

Dry can be irritating, harmful to the eyes — and confusing. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions on the subject at our Medina optometry center.

What is dry eye?

Dry eye isn’t just a description; it’s a recognized medical disease. It occurs when the eye is inadequately covered by a protective, lubricating tear film. Dry eye may the result of either an imbalance in the tear film’s composition or insufficient overall tear production.

What are symptoms of dry eye?

Dry eye can cause a variety of symptoms that interfere with your everyday productivity and quality of life. These include eye itching, soreness, burning, aching and redness. You may also suffer from blurred vision, light sensitivity, and a nagging feeling that something is in your eye.

Does dry eye pose a danger to the eyes?

Since the tear film is a barrier for foreign substances, dry eye can make your eyes more vulnerable to infections and inflammations. Eventually, the corneas may even develop ulcerations or scarring that impair vision.

What is the tear film made up of?

The tear film is the three-layered-substance. A water layer sits on top of an underlying mucous layer, with a layer of oil sitting on top of both. The oil layer prevents the water from evaporating too speedily. When these ingredients are out of balance, your eyes cannot enjoy consistent comfort and protection.

What are the most common reasons people get dry eye?

Aging is the most common cause of dry eye since the tear glands produce less fluid with age. Drying medications and health conditions (such as certain autoimmune diseases) can also cause dry eye. Constant wind or breeze exposure can dry the eyes, as well as constant computer use (because the eyes “forget” to blink normally). Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), a blockage of the eyelid’s oil-producing glands, can encourage tear evaporation.

How does my optometrist at Complete Eye Care of Medina address dry eye?

Either optometrist at our clinic can run evaluations to pinpoint the exact cause of your dry eye. Common remedies include hydrating/lubricating eye drops, changes in the medication of environment, frequent breaks from computer use, and an MGD treatment technology called LipiFlow.

How does LipiFlow treatment relieve MGD?

LipiFlow relieves MGD by dissolving blockages in the meibomian glands’ ducts. Your optometrist uses a combination of heat and pulsation to free up gland function in the eyelids, restoring normal oil levels in the tear film.