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Dry Eye Doctors in Naples, FL Discuss Dry Eyes
Tears are essential to the comfort and good health of your eyes, as they lubricate and nourish your eyes. Dry eye occurs when your eye does not produce enough tears or produces low-quality tears, which leaves your eye feeling dry and scratchy. Fortunately, dry eye doctors in Naples, FL, diagnose and treat this condition. Accurate diagnosis and timely treatment can reduce discomfort and help you see clearly.
Normally, each blink of the eyelid spreads tears across the surface of the eye, known as the cornea. Your tears lubricate your eye, rinse foreign matter away from your eye, reduce your risk of eye infection, and keep the surface of your cornea smooth and clear. Excess tears drain through tiny ducts on the inner corners of your eyelids and then into the back of your nose.
Why Do I Have Dry Eyes?
Dry eye is the result of an inadequate amount of tears or poor tear quality. Several glands located in and around your eyelids produce tears, and the production of tears can slow down with age. Certain illnesses and medications can also reduce tear production. Wind and arid climates can evaporate your tears.
Quality matters when it comes to tears, which contain three layers: oil, water, and mucin that protect and nourish the front surface of your eye. The oil layer sits on top of the water to prevent it from evaporating, while the mucin spreads the tear evenly over the surface of your eye. Problems with any of the three layers may cause symptoms of dry eye.
What Are The Symptoms of Dry Eyes?
The most common type of dry eye occurs when there is not enough of the water layer. Doctors refer to this form of dry eyes as “keratoconjunctivitis sicca,” or dry eye syndrome.
Symptoms of dry eye include:
- Scratchy, irritated, gritty, or burning eyes
- A feeling like something is in your eye
- Watery eyes
- Blurred vision
Left untreated, advanced dry eyes can even damage the front surface of your eye and affect your vision.
Diagnosis and Treatment From Our Dry Eye Doctors in Naples, FL
Your dry eye doctors in Naples, FL, provide the accurate diagnosis and effective treatment you need. Diagnosis begins with a comprehensive evaluation of your symptoms and eye health, examination of your eyelids and cornea, and the measurement and quality assessment of your tears.
Treatment can restore or maintain a normal amount of tears in your eye to minimize dryness, ease discomfort, and maintain the health of your eye. Depending on the underlying cause of dry eye, treatment options may include artificial tear eye drops, plugging tear ducts to prevent drainage, eye drops that increase tear production, and treating other problems that affect tear production.
Contact Us Today To Get Treatment For Your Dry Eyes
For more information on dry eyes, or to learn how treatment can help you overcome this uncomfortable condition, make an appointment with our dry eye doctors in Naples, FL. Call us at 239-262-6288, we look forward to meeting you!
Our Naples Ophthalmologist Team Is Answering Your Questions About Dry Eye
At Naples Eye Physicians, we're happy to connect you with a Naples ophthalmologist who can answer your questions and concerns about your dry eye condition.
My eyes are always watery or tearing, how can I have “dry eye”?
This may sound counterintuitive, but yes! Normally, the surface of your eye is protected and kept moisturized by a tear film full of oils, cells, and fluids. If you have dry eye syndrome (the formal name is keratoconjunctivitis sicca), then your tears are lacking in either quality and/or quantity. When this happens, the body may try to "overcompensate" by producing clear watery discharge—this discharge is not the same quality as tears so it doesn't "solve" the problem, and can even dry out over night leading to crusty residue on your eyelashes or eyelids.
Additional symptoms of dry eye include itchy, red, burning eyes, blurry vision, and heightened light sensitivity. You may also feel as if there is something gritty in your eye.
Can a LASIK procedure cause dry eye?
Yes. Eye surgery such as LASIK procedures can lead to dry eyes. Other potential causes of dry eye include:
- Environmental allergens and triggers: e.g., smoke, chemical irritants, cosmetic products, pollen, pet dander, wind, cold weather, etc.
- Meibomian gland dysfunction: these glands normally produce oils which go into your tears and function to help keep your ocular surfaces moist. When these glands are not working properly and produce inadequate oil, tears can evaporate too quickly, drying out the surface of your eyes.
- Other health conditions, such as autoimmune diseases like diabetes, lupus, and even Vitamin A deficiency
Are ocular surface health treatments covered by insurance?
If you have dry eye, you should seek treatment from an eye doctor, since untreated dry eyes can lead to chronic inflammation of the surface of your eyes, infections, and corneal damage and scarring. At our ophthalmology clinic in Naples, our eye doctor team can prescribe a variety of treatments to help you find relief, including:
- Artificial tears that moisturize the surface of the eye (symptomatic relief only)
- Medicated eye drops to reduce inflammation and stimulate increased tear production
- Plugging of tear ducts to prevent tear drainage
Some of these services may be covered by your insurance plan, so we advise you to speak with your provider, and never hesitate to ask our friendly front office for help.