Understanding Dry Eyes

Dry Eye Disease

When your tears are not able to produce the appropriate amount of lubrication for your eyes, dry eye or inflammation occurs. There are many reasons why your tears can be unstable or inadequate. However, inflammation and damage to the surface of the eyes result from the instability of tears. If you are experiencing dry eye, Dr. Murrell at Executive Eye Care in Houston can help you.

Dry Eye

Causes and Symptoms

There are many things that can disrupt the health of a tear film. There are three layers to a tear film: aqueous fluid, mucus, and fatty oils. These three things are what keeps your eye’s surface smooth, clear, and lubricated. If there are any issues with any of these layers, dry eyes can result. Tear film dysfunction can be caused by autoimmune diseases, hormone changes, inflamed eyelid glands, overwear of contacts lenses or even allergic eye disease. For other people, a decrease in tear production or an increase in tear evaporation is the cause of their dry eyes.

Symptoms usually affect both eyes and may consist of:

  • A burning, scratchy, or stinging sensation in your eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Stringy mucus around or in your eyes
  • Redness of the eyes
  • The feeling of having something in your eyes
  • Having a hard time driving at night
  • Blurry vision or fatigue of the eye
  • Watery eyes

Diagnosis and Treatment

Dr. Jessica Murrell will perform specific tests to determine what may be causing your dry eyes, which can include:

  • An eye exam- A comprehensive eye exam will include a complete history of the overall health of your eyes and can help your doctor come up with a diagnosis.
  • A test to measure the volume of your tears- The Schirmer test may be used to measure the amount of tear production your eyes are making.
  • A test to determine tear quality- These tests use special dyes to assess the surface condition of your eyes.
  • Osmolarity test- This test measures the composition of water and particles within your tears.
  • Tear samples may also be used to search for markers of dry eye syndrome.

Over-the-counter eye drops may be used for people that have either mild dry eye symptoms or occasional symptoms of dry eyes. However, serious symptoms should be treated by our eye doctor. Medications we prescribe may include drugs to help reduce eyelid inflammation, eye drops to help control inflammation of the cornea, tear-stimulating drugs, or eye drops created from your blood.

Contact Us for Eye Care Treatment from Our Houston Optometrist

No matter if you are dealing with symptoms associated with computer strain or dry eyes, you should give us a call here at Executive Eye Care to schedule an eye exam today. Our professional staff is dedicated to providing our patients the care they need to maintain optimal vision and eye health. Contact us today to learn more about how patients in and around the Houston area trust us for their eye care needs.