We might not think much about the tears our eyes make unless we’re watching a sad movie or dealing with a bad bout of allergies. But those tears are working all the time to keep our eyes protected and hydrated.
If your eyes feel dry a lot of the time, it’s a sign that your body isn’t making or using tears the way it should. That’s where we come in. As dry eye specialists, we can pinpoint the issue causing your dryness and develop a solution to bring you relief, all from our Benjamin Optical offices throughout New York City.
To help you understand the treatment options available to you, let’s take a closer look at dry eye.
Understanding your tears
Our bodies produce tears to keep our eyes moist and to flush out any pathogens. These tears are more complex than many people imagine.
In fact, they consist of three distinct layers:
- An oily outer layer that protects the eyes
- A watery middle layer that hydrates
- A mucusy inner layer that helps the tear film stick to your eye
Your dry eye could come from an issue with any one of those layers, or from your eyes simply not making enough tears.
Diagnosing dry eye
It’s normal to have dry eye sometimes, like in a windy or extremely dry environment. But if your eyes regularly feel like they’re too dry, you’re likely living with a tear problem.
Some of the other symptoms of dry eye include:
- Blurry vision
- Difficulty wearing contact lenses
- A stinging or burning sensation
- Light sensitivity
- Feeling like there’s something in your eye
Surprisingly, excess tears or mucus in or around your eyes can also be a symptom of dry eye. This is your body’s effort to make more tears to soothe your dry eye, usually because there’s a problem with one of the three layers of your tears.
Getting relief from dry eye
Many people with dry eye can ease their discomfort and their symptoms with artificial tears. Adding these tears means giving your eyes the multi-layer hydration and protection they need.
If artificial tears don’t sufficiently soothe your eyes, we can also explore medication to help your body produce more tears, specialized contact lenses, and medicated eye drops. Additionally, we can discuss punctal plugs, tiny silicone plugs we put in your tear ducts to help keep more of your tears in your eyes.
You have quite a few options to get relief from dry eye. To figure out what your unique eyes need, call any of our offices, or book an appointment online today.