Dry Eye Treatment
Serving Eye Patients in Johannesburg, Africa
Patients with dry eye either do not produce enough tears or lack good quality tears to properly nourish the eye. Tears are essential to maintaining healthy eyes because they serve as lubrication, help prevent infections, and wash out harmful debris. Dry eye is not only uncomfortable; it can also damage the surface of the eye and cause vision problems if left untreated.
Tears consist of three layers:
- Oily layer – reduces evaporation of tears
- Watery layer – cleanses the eye
- Mucus layer – Allows the watery layer to spread out smoothly and moistens the eye
What Causes Dry Eye?
Patients who suffer from dry eye often have a problem creating enough of one or more of these tear layers. Dry eye can actually cause the over production of tears as well. If a person has low-quality tears, the eye is not moistened properly and can become irritated. This can cause excess tearing or “watery eyes.”
Other causes of dry eye include Age, airborne particles such as pollen or even LASIK surgery. As we age our tear volume lowers, which is why there is a high percentage of patients with dry eye syndrome who are 60 and older. Hormonal changes, which occur with age, can also hinder tear production, thus leading to dry eye syndrome for some patients.
Surprisingly LASIK treatment can potentially cause dry eye. Although it’s unlikely, laser eye surgery temporarily disrupts tear production. That is why patients are often given eye drops to help eyes stay lubricated after surgery.
To learn more about the causes of dye eye syndrome, Johannesburg patients can schedule a consultation with Dr. Guglielmetti to talk about treatment and prevention.
Dr. Guglielmetti can prescribe a specific treatment to correct your unique dry eye condition. Mild dry eye can usually be treated with tear replacement eye drops that can be used as often as several times an hour. Some patients even find relief by taking omega-3 fatty acids to help supplement their tear production. Other patients with more severe cases may need to be prescribed medications or undergo eye surgery. Tear ducts can be temporarily or permanently closed to conserve more of your own tears, especially if the cause of dry eye is low production of tears.
Chronic dry eye can be diagnosed during a general eye exam with special attention to the quality and amount of tears the patient produces. Dr. Guglielmetti can perform tests to determine the cause and severity of your dry eye. Possible causes of dry eye include aging, certain medications, climate, and heredity. It can also be a side effect of laser eye surgeries such as LASIK.