Dry Eye Syndrome

Our eyes need moisture to stay healthy and comfortable. The lack of tears lead to a condition called dry eye syndrome. There are two main dysfunction that lead of dry eye: lack of tears production or increased tears evaporation. Tears are a complex mixture of fatty oils, water, mucus and more than 1500 different proteins to keep  the surface of  the eye smooth and protected from environment, irritants and infectious pathogens. Tears form three layers:

  • Outer oily lipid layer - produced by the Meibomian glands to keep tears from evaporating too quickly

  • Middle aqueous (water) layer - produced by the main lacrimal gland to nourish the cornea and conjunctiva

  • Inner mucin layer - produced by the goblet cells to help bind water from the aqueous layer to ensure the eye remains wet. 

Causes of Dry Eye

  • Medications (antihistamines, decongestant, birth control, hormone replacement, anxiety meds)

  • Age - dry eye is more common in people over the age of 50 

  • Rosacea 

  • Blepharitis - inflammation of eyelids 

  • Meibomian gland dysfunction - cause of evaporative dry eye

  • Autoimmune disorder such as Sjogrens, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Vit A deficiency 

  • Women - hormonal changes and menopause have been linked to dry eye

  • Environment - windy, dusty, AC draft, ceiling fans can increase tear evaporation. 

  • Seasonal Allergies 

  • Extended digital device use can reduce blink frequency leading to dry eye

  • Laser eye surgery may exacerbate dry eye

Do you have any of the following symptoms of dry eye

  • Burning, stinging

  • Watery eyes

  • Dry gritty feeling

  • Heavy tired eyelids

  • Red eyes

  • Light sensitivity

  • Contact lens intolerance

  • Blurry vision 

  • Fluctuating vision

  • Goopy sticky eyes when waking up

Treatment depends on the underlying cause(s) of dry eye. Often time, patients will have a combination of causes and aggressive treatment may be necessary to improve comfort and prevent permanent vision loss.

Our dry eye evaluation and specific testing will help us determine the quality and quantity of tears produced by your eyes. Dr. Dau will take images of your Meibomian glands using a specialized infrared camera to assess the structural health of your eyes. Treatments are specific and specially formulated to each patient's cause(s) of dry eye. Call or text (281)3947090 to schedule an appointment at our office.