Everything You Need to Know About Dry Eye

by Aug 4, 2020

Dry eye is a disorder of the tears that commonly causes discomfort and eventual damage to the front surface of the eye. There are many different causes and components to the disease, which make it complicated to treat and assess. Once you get it diagnosed, however, treatments can make a huge difference to your eye comfort and health. 


Dry Eye Symptoms

Dry eye disease (DED) can present in a variety of different ways but some symptoms include eye irritation, discomfort, a gritty/ burning sensation, or the feeling of something stuck in the eye. This may be accompanied by blurry or fluctuating vision, light sensitivity, and an inability to tolerate contact lens wear. 


Subsets of Dry Eye Disease

The main cause of dry eye disease is a change in the salt concentration of the tear layer, leading to damage of the front surface of your eye from inflammation. The increase in salt concentration can be caused by either too little secretion of water onto the ocular surface or from quick evaporation of the tears from the front surface. Our optometrist will perform a variety of tests to pinpoint what the main cause of your dry eye disease is.


Aqueous Deficient Dry Eye

This method of disruption to the tear layer over the front surface of the eyes mainly stems from the lower than normal levels of watery tears secreted onto the front surface. This leads to more salt in the tear film than water and thus causes dryness. The main methods of treatment for this type of dry eye would include immunomodulator medications, humidifiers, and artificial tears


Evaporative Dry Eye

This is mainly due to the blockage and/ or destruction of the oil secreting glands in the eyelids. These glands are located in the upper and lower eyelids and can die off with age, disease, or injury and do not regrow. The lack of a good oil component in the tears causes the tear film to evaporate too quickly. Treatment for this type of dry eye disease would include warm compresses, eyelid massage, and some form of physical expression of the glands. It can also include artificial tears and omega-3 fatty acid supplements. 


Mixed Dry Eye

This is a mix of the above two components and thus treatment would include a combination of both of these dry eye disease subsets. Most individuals will have a combination of both, at varying levels, and thus treatment will include a wide set of daily practices to help maintain the ocular surface.


Our eye doctors at Wilmington Family Eye Care in Wilmington, DE excel in prescription of glasses, contact lenses and the diagnosis of a variety of eye diseases. Call our optometrists at 302-299-1286 or schedule an eye exam appointment online if you would like to learn more about dry eye disease. Our eye doctors, Drs. Daniel Baruffi, Joseph Goldberg, and Karen Darrell provide the highest quality optometry services and eye exams in Wilmington, Delaware and its surrounding areas.

Request Appointment

You can schedule your next appointment with us online!

Connect With Us

Let’s continue the conversation over on your social network of choice.