Tears lubricate the eyes and wash away particles and foreign objects. A healthy tear film on the eye is necessary for good vision. Dry eye is a common condition that occurs when the natural tear film that covers the surface of the eye is insufficient. UPMC Eye Center ophthalmologists Andrew Eller, MD, and Leela Raju, MD, explain more about this common condition.
Causes of Dry Eye
There are a number of causes, but some of the most common ones include:
- Previous surgeries, such as laser refractive surgery or retinal detachment
- Wearing contact lenses, especially after many years
- Dry heat in our homes or air conditioning in the summer
- Reading intently or staring at a computer
- Various conditions, such as dementia, Bell’s palsy, Sjogren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, or hyperthyroidism (Grave’s disease)
Never Miss a Beat!
Subscribe to Our HealthBeat Newsletter!
Get Healthy Tips Sent to Your Phone!
Dry Eye Symptoms
- Feeling of sand or dirt in the eye
Eye Tearing and Dry Eye
Surprisingly, many people with dry eyes complain of tearing. There are three types of tears:
When our tear film is deficient in the greasy and mucousy tears, we compensate with the over population of watery tears.
You might also like…
Treatment Options for Dry Eye
Some of the more common treatments include:
- Over the counter eye drops
- An eye gel or ointment
- Small plugs can be placed in the eyelids to increase the tear film
Talking to Your Doctor About Dry Eye
In most cases, dry eye can be managed with over the counter eye drops. However, you should consult your eye doctor when you can no longer tolerate the burning, redness, and pain.
About Eye Center
The UPMC Eye Center seeks to improve and restore your vision to help your quality of life. We offer a variety of services at our locations throughout western Pennsylvania. We diagnose and treat a wide range of vision disorders in both children and adults. We also offer routine eye screenings and have full-scale optical shops. Our treatments include both surgical and nonsurgical options.