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What Is Dry Eyes

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In order for the eye to be comfortable and see normally, it needs to have lubrication and moisture from tears. Tears are made up of oils, to help with lubrication; water, to keep the eye moist; special proteins and antibodies, that help resist infection; and mucus, that helps with even spreading. There are special glands that are located around the eye that secrete the tears. Dry Eye may occur when the tear system is imbalanced.

About Dry Eye

When a person’s eye is not lubricated adequately, they may experience a number of different things, including:

* Sensitivity to light
* The feeling that sand or some object is in the eye
* Redness
* Pain
* Itching
* Blurry vision

In some cases, even though a person has Dry Eye, tears may flow excessively down the cheeks, this is called “reflex tearing”. Although this is confusing when a person has dry eyes, the excessive tears is a response from the irritation the eye feels. The eye sends out a signal that they are dry and need more lubrication. The response is to then flood the eyes with tears in an effort to lubricate. But these tears will not lubricate the eye as they should because these tears are mostly water. They will flush out anything foreign that should not be in the eye, but will not lubricate properly.

What Can Cause Dry Eyes?

Dry eyes are caused when the tear system is imbalanced, but in addition to this, other situations or conditions can cause a person’s eyes to dry out. Some of those conditions include:

* Dry air from heat, air conditioning, or the environment
* A side effect of a drug that is being taken, such as birth control pills
* The process of aging, especially for women going through menopause
* Eyelids that have structural problems, if the eyelids are not able to fully close
* Disease that can have an affect on being able to create tears, such as rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren’s syndrome

If you believe you have Dry Eye or would like to find out more about it, contact the nearest eye doctor in Levittown NY for an eye exam and more information.