Why are My Eyes Dry?

Dry Eye Disease is a condition that common occurs in patients when their tears are unable to provide the eye with an adequate amount of lubrication. This uncomfortable condition often leaves patients with stinging or burning eyes, and may worsen in certain situations, like being in an air conditioned room, riding a bike, or looking at a computer screen for a few hours. This condition occurs when the eye is unable to produce enough tears or is producing low-quality tears that cannot lubricate the eye enough.

Tears are made up of a mixture of water, fatty oils, and mucus. This mixture is what is responsible for the eye’s smooth and clear appearance, and also acts as a protective layer for the eye to prevent infection. Decreased tear production, or keratoconjunctivitis sicca, can be caused by aging, medical conditions ranging from diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and thyroid disorder, medications including antihistamines, antidepressants, acne medications, and blood pressure medication. Increased tear evaporation can be caused by wind, smoke, dry air, blinking less than often, or eyelid problems. Poor quality tears are caused by an imbalance in tear composition, which can occur when the small glands on the edge of the eyelids that produces the oil portion of tears becomes blocked.

Solutions for Dry Eye Disease in NJ

A visit to Marano Eye Care regarding Dry Eye Disease will begin with a comprehensive eye exam that looks over your complete health history, as well as prior eye issues. Our doctors will then measure the volume of your tears using the Schirmer test. In this test, small strips of blotting paper are placed under the lower eyelid and left in place for 5 minutes. The amount of strip that is saturated indicated to our team the level of tear production. Marano Eye Care may also determine the quality of your tears by utilizing special eyedrops with a dye that will help determine the surface condition of the eyes. The doctor will look for patterns on the cornea, as well as measure how long it takes before tears evaporate.