Juvenile arthritis does not just affect your child's joints but can also cause several potentially serious eye disorders. Although your child's eye doctor will monitor him or her for signs of prob ...View Article
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Our optometrist in Columbia, Dr. Michael McClay, can isolate the cause of your dry eyes and prescribe the appropriate remedies before that dryness leads to more serious eye damage. One of the most common of today's eye ailments also happens to be one of the most uncomfortable. Dry eye causes irritation, blurry vision and other symptoms. In addition to age, medications and other factors, this problem is frequently associated with a 21st-Century occupational hazard known as computer vision syndrome.
To understand why you might have dry eyes, it helps to understand the different forms this condition can take. Your eyes' health and function depend in part on maintaining a constant layer of tear film. This tear film bathes the front of the eye in a solution consisting of three distinct ingredients. A water layer keeps the eyes moist, while a layer of mucous adheres the water to the eye's surface. A layer of oil on top of the water keeps the water from evaporating too quickly. If any of these ingredients are out of balance with the others, your tear film may not be able to keep your eyes hydrated and protected. This problem, known as evaporative dry eye, is usually related to insufficient oil from the meibomian glands inside the eyelid.
It's also possible that your eyes may simply fail to produce enough overall volume of tears, a problem called aqueous dry eye. This may occur due to age-related changes, medication use, auto-immune diseases or problems keeping the eyelid closed. If you spend too much time consulting a computer or smartphone screen, you may not be blinking as frequently as you should (and therefore not triggering tear production). The resulting dryness, coupled with exposure to moving air and screen glare, can cause an uncomfortable condition called computer vision syndrome.
Computer screen or no computer screen, dry eye can produce red, itchy, irritated eyes, a gritty or foreign body sensation in the eyes, blurry vision and eye fatigue. The lack of tear film can expose the eye to germs or other outside irritants and possible even result in corneal ulcers and scarring. Fortunately, our Columbia eye doctor can get to the bottom of your dry eye dilemma.
Dr. McClay can evaluate your tear film and meibomian gland function, ask you about your medical history and determine whether you're suffering from computer vision syndrome. Your dry eye treatment plan may include some combination of artificial tears, changes in your medications, unblocking of plugged meibomian glands, anti-glare lenses, and lifestyle adjustments such as avoiding wind exposure and taking more frequent breaks from the computer.
Don't let dry eyes ruin your quality of life. Call Apex EyeCare today to schedule an evaluation and dry eye treatment from our Columbia eye doctor!