When your eyes get irritated quickly because there are not enough tears to lubricate them, then you probably have a condition called dry eyes. Tears are very important in eye health maintenance, especially the front part, which contributes to proper vision. Dry eyes is very common and most often a chronic condition that older adults tend to develop.
Every time you blink, tears that have been produced are spread across the outermost surface of the eye. This water-like liquid provide the necessary lubrication that keeps dust or debris from hurting the eye and minimizes the chances of getting an eye infection. It also helps maintain the eyes’ surface clear. In the event that there is too much produced, the excess tears are drained in the ducts found in the eyelids’ inner corners, which are then drained to the back of the nose.
Individuals who suffer from dry eyes usually experience the following eye symptoms:
gritty or scratchy feeling that is aggravated with constant eye movement
a feeling that a foreign object is in the eyes
- blurred vision
In worst cases, the front surface of the eye becomes damaged and vision is impaired. If you feel your condition falls under this category, then see an Arizona eye care specialist immediately.
What Causes of Dry Eyes?
Dry eyes is often caused by either an imbalance in tear production or poor tear quality.
Tear Inadequacy – There are several glands in and around the lids that produce tears. However, as people grow older, the production starts to slow down. Certain medical conditions and prescription drugs also affect overall production. Even natural factors such as windy and dry climates can influence the volume of tears produced at a given time. Factors like these increase the volume of tears that evaporate. When production decreases, that’s when symptoms start to appear and eventually the condition develops.
Poor Tear Quality – There are three layers that make up tears, which are (1) water, (2) oil, and (3) mucus. Each of these three components serve a unique function in the protection and nourishment of the eye’s outermost surface, which is also the most vulnerable. The oily layer helps prevent the evaporation of the water component, and the mucus part is essential in preventing the tears from spreading over the eye’s surface. If any of these three essential functions fail, then that is when dry eye symptoms tend to start appearing. If you feel like you have dry eyes, do not hesitate to contact a trusted Arizona eye doctor so you can get proper medical assistance.