Gritty, Burning Eyes

Dry Eye
Dry eye is one of the most common complaints we encounter during our eye exams at Parrelli Optical®. The tear film is designed to act as a lubricant to allow the lids to comfortably slide across the eyeball during the blink. The tears also form a nice smooth surface on the cornea located on the front of the eye.

Dry Eye Causes
As we age the eye becomes dryer. Any concentrated work, computer use, driving or reading slows the blink rate and can lead to dry eyes. There are environment influences; seasonal pollens, dry heated air and even air conditioning, which can contribute to dry eye. Many medications can contribute to eye dryness. Irritated, dry eyes can accompany contact lens wear. Excessively dry eyes can lead to blurred vision

Dry Eye Symptoms
Dry eye symptoms include scratchy or itching sensation when watching television, using the computer, reading or even driving. A burning or gritty sensation when you wake up is common. The feeling that there is something in your eye, a foreign sensation is a typical dry eye complaint.

Dry Eye Treatments
Most research suggests that there are several effective treatments for dry eye with or without contact lenses.

  • All of us are dehydrated. Simply increasing your clear fluid intake will make your eyes fell better. Caffeine and alcohol contribute greatly to dry eyes.
  • Rewetting or lubricating eye drops can relieve dry eye symptoms. Preventative rewetting, placing drops in the eye periodically throughout the day, is more effective than reactive rewetting, putting the lubricating drops in the eye in response to dryness or irritation.
  • During sleep tear production is greatly diminished and there is no blink to spread those tears across the front of the eye. Overnight the tissue dehydrates and feels very uncomfortable in the morning. One of the most effective dry eye treatments is to rewet your eyes before sleep, so that they will be more hydrated in the morning. Several manufacturers make a night time gel, that lingers in your eye longer, for dry eye treatment.
  • The tear is produced in the lacrimal gland located in the area of your temple. The tears then cascade across the front of your eye lubricating the lids and forming a smooth surface across the cornea. The moisture is then drained out into the sinuses through small holes in the lids called punctum. By blocking these holes we can back the
    moisture up into the eye relieving dry eye symptoms. Initially the doctor will insert collagen plugs that will slowly dissolve over seven to ten days. If you experience an improvement a more permanent silicone plug can be used.
  • Many patients find relief from dry eye symptoms with dietary supplements. Omega-3 fatty acids and flaxseed oil have proven efficacy.

Dry Eye Prescription Relief
Prescription Restasis is the first clinically proven dry eye therapy to increase tear production and relieve your dry eye symptoms.

© 2014 Dr. Scott Sylvia ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Some images are courtesy of manufacturers.