Why Do People Get Dry Eyes?
Author: Sugarland Eye and Laser Center
Category: Eye Health
Tags: sugarland eye & laser center, lasik, laser eye surgery, houston, dry eyes
Dry eye syndrome is a term that is used to describe a lack of sufficient lubrication or moisture on an eye's surface, and is a fairly common problem in a society full of people who are chronically dehydrated. In Houston the heat and subtropical climate along with many days in air conditioning can results in dehydration. However, dry eyes can vary between mild and a legitimate health concern and they should be dealt with just like with any kind of problem. Whenever a problem that affects your eyes develops, it is important to care for it before it has a chance to become severe or cause lasting damage.
According to Dr. Arthur Epstein, the dry eye syndrome that is medically termed keratitis sicca describes a dearth or lack of quality of tears. If the condition is larger and affects the conjunctiva and cornea it is referred to as karatoconjunctivitis sicca, and this condition can result in constant irritation and even inflammation to your eyes' front tissue area.
The Threat of Dry Eyes
Tears are not just a way to show emotion. Their more practical functions include enzymatic combat of microorganisms that could infect the eye and washing out dust or other particulate matter that could cause the eye to become scratched or torn. While complex in their make up, the functions of tears are very straightforward. If these functions are somehow interrupted, damage to your eye can occur.
Causes of Dry Eyes
Contrary to popular belief, tears do not generally "evaporate" from having one's eyes open for long periods of time. Special oils that are produced by the meibomian glands in the eyelids keep your years from evaporating as normal water would, which allows you to keep your eyes open for extended durations without necessarily developing dry eyes. What often happens is a malfunction.
Often the malfunction occurs in a set of glands near your eyes that are associated with the lacrimal gland. When this or the glands associated with it malfunctions, your eyes do not produced enough tears or your meibomian glands do not produce enough oils. For most cases of dry eye, the resulting evaporation is at least a contributing factor to your dryness.
Causes You May Be Able to Change
Naturally, a malfunction in your glands is not the only way you can get dry eyes. The natural aging process does tend to reduce the amount of tears and oils produced with nothing being intrinsically wrong. As well, you may be taking a medication for Parkinson's, an antidepressant, or a blood pressure medicine that could be interfering with how effectively your eyes produce the right kind of tears.
You also need to consider that you may live in a dusty, dry and windy climate like West Texas. Houston and Sugar Land are not the gentlest areas in the world, and air conditioning can make a dry zone even drier during the summer. Dry heating systems can make the winter just as irritating. Further, you may simply not be blinking enough to produce the tears you need due to staring at a computer screen throughout the day. Make an appointment at Sugarland Eye & Laser Center and see what they can do for you.
Sugarland Eye & Laser Center leads in providing premium LASIK technologies to Houston, Sugar Land, and the surrounding region. The Center's award-winning medical director introduced revolutionary technologies such as iLASIK to the region. This technology is used by NASA astronauts, Navy SEALS and Air Force fighter pilots. At Sugarland Eye & Laser Center, you can now receive the same treatment. For more information, please call (281) 240-0478 or visit us at www.houston-lasik.com
About the Author
Amjad Khokhar, M.D. is Chief LASIK Surgeon at Sugarland Eye & Laser Center. Add Dr. Khokhar on Google+ here.
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