Recognizing the Symptoms of Dry Eye Disease
Your eyes continually produce a small amount of tear fluid that thoroughly wets their surface. Movements like blinking play an important role in eye health by ensuring regular, even distribution of your tears.
Tears are crucial for ensuring healthy eyesight and corneas, protecting the eyes from environmental influences, and supplying the cornea with nutrients. If your eyes don’t stay properly lubricated, you may have dry eye disease.
At V.I.P. Laser Eye Center — with locations in Palm Beach Gardens, St. Lucie, Stuart, Florida — our specialists can diagnose and treat dry eye disease. Our professional team provides advanced testing and a range of effective treatments to relieve your irritating symptoms.
What are tears?
The protective layer of film on your eye is made of three layers:
The oily layer of your tear film is on the outside, and it comes from oil glands called meibomian glands along the edge of your eyelid. This layer of tears keeps your eye surface from drying out and makes sure it remains smooth.
The lacrimal glands in your eyelid produce the watery layer that forms your tears. This wet layer helps keep your eye clean by washing away particles that don’t belong there.
The mucus layer is the innermost layer of your tear film, made in the conjunctiva. It spreads around the moisture of your tears and helps tears stick to your eyeball.
Symptoms of dry eye disease
With dry eye disease, you either don’t produce enough tears or the glands around your eyes produce poor-quality tears. You can experience irritation in your eyes if any of the tear layers aren’t contributing to adequate tear film.
One symptom of dry eye disease you might not expect is watery eyes. There are many nerve endings in your eye, and these nerve endings detect problems like dry eyes. The nerves pass along the message to your brain, causing your eyes to react to insufficient moisture with symptoms such as redness, burning, or itching, as well as increased tear production.
Other symptoms of dry eye disease include:
- The feeling of having a scratchy foreign object in your eye
- Swollen eyelids
- Redness at the edge of the eyelid
- Mucus secretion and sticky eyelids, especially in the morning
- A feeling that your eyes are tired and strained
- Soreness or uncomfortable pressure on your eyes
- Sensitivity to light and impaired vision, such as blurred vision
In severe dry eye disease cases, you may experience chronic corneal inflammation with clouding of the top layer.
Many of these symptoms can also indicate other eye diseases, so it’s important to seek a professional diagnosis. Eye inflammation, in particular, is often ignored but requires fast targeted treatment.
In addition to prescribing eye drops for relief, V.I.P. Laser Eye Center offers the latest treatments available for dry eye disease to correct the cause of the problem. If dry eyes affect your quality of life, call the skilled team at the V.I.P. Laser Eye Center office most convenient to you, or schedule your consultation online.