Inability to comfortably insert or wear contact lenses
Inability to wear contact lenses for longer than a couple of hours
If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, don’t hesitate to schedule an eye exam with your ophthalmologist.
Types Of Dry Eye
Although they share many of the same symptoms, there are three types of dry eye that differ by cause, including:
Evaporative Dry Eye (EDE)
When the meibomian glands along the edges of the eyelids are clogged, not enough oil is produced and tears can’t flow as they should. If you do generate any tears, they evaporate too quickly to make a difference.
Aqueous Deficient Dry Eye (ADDE)
This type of dry eye condition is a malfunction of the lacrimal glands, wherein they cannot produce the water element of tears. This often develops in persons with certain autoimmune disorders.
Mixed Dry Eye (MDE)
This type is when a person has a combination of both EDE and ADDE.
What Causes Dry Eye?
The underlying cause of dry eye is inadequate tear production, which can be attributed to one or more factors, including:
Inflammation of the eyelid glands
Tear duct blockage
Physical abnormality affecting the eyes
Side effect of laser surgery
Side effect of certain prescription medications
Overuse of eye drops
Excess alcohol consumption
How Is Dry Eye Diagnosed?
Diagnosis begins with a thorough eye exam by an ophthalmologist. He or she will measure the volume of tear production, the ratio of oil to water, and the rate of tear evaporation. Chemical testing may also be used to check for certain proteins in the tears.
Treatment Options For Dry Eye
Treatment options for dry eye include:
Prescription eye drops to aid with comfort levels
Artificial tear inserts
Prescription drugs that stimulate tear production
Blood serum eye drops
Temporary or permanent plugging of the tear ducts called a Punctal Occlusion
Application of amniotic membrane
It’s worth noting that many people with dry eye try to resolve the condition themselves by using over-the-counter eye drops. While over-the-counter tears can sometimes help treat symptoms of dry eye other treatments may be necessary. Only an ophthalmologist can provide the appropriate treatment options.