Tags: dry eyes | tears | thyroid | lasik

Dealing With Chronic Dry Eyes

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Wednesday, 13 December 2017 03:25 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Tears are produced by the lacrimal gland, a small almond-shaped structure just above the upper, outer corner of the eye.

For clear vision and general eye health, we need normal tear production to bathe the eye surface, keeping the eyes moist, washing away debris, and protecting the eye from infections.

Although dry eye can occur at any age, older adults are more prone to the condition. Some 5 million Americans 50 or older have chronic dry eyes, which can interfere with reading, using a computer, or any other activity that requires normal vision.

Dry eye occurs when tear production is impaired. Sometimes the lacrimal glands fail to produce enough of the watery component of tears, and other times the glands may produce too much or too little of the oily component.

In addition, the eye surface can become inflamed. If this is not treated, it can result in pain, scarring, and permanent loss of vision.

People suffering from dry eyes may experience periods of excess tearing or dryness, eye discharge, burning, pain, redness, blurred vision, and inability to produce any tears.

Some nasal decongestants, antidepressants, antihypertensive medications, and antihistamines can contribute to the condition.

Dry eye may lead to chronic conjunctivitis, an inflammation of the membranes that cover the front part of the eye.

Some thyroid disorders increase the surface of the eye and can lead to dry eye.

Dry eyes can also be the result of refractive surgery for vision correction (LASIK).

Treatment for dry eyes depends on the underlying cause of the disorder. Your doctor may recommend switching medications to determine if a particular drug is leading to the symptoms.

If your contact lenses become irritating, switching to another lens type or wearing glasses for a while may also help.

An anti-inflammatory medicine called cyclosporine can reduce damage to the cornea — the transparent layer forming the front part of the eye. Cyclosporine also increases tear production and reduces symptoms.

To decrease inflammation, doctors may recommend short-term use of corticosteroid eye drops.

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Sometimes the lacrimal glands fail to produce enough of the watery component of tears, and other times the glands may produce too much or too little of the oily component.
dry eyes, tears, thyroid, lasik
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2017-25-13
Wednesday, 13 December 2017 03:25 PM
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