What Are dry Eyes?

Published: 15th June 2007
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This article examines the problems associated with dry eyes.

Some people just suffer with mild inconvenience on waking up in the morning and finding their eyelids are stuck together, but for others it can cause acute discomfort which can last all day.

In order to determine possible causes and treatment it is necessary to have an understanding of how the surface of the eyes function.

Eyes are dependent upon tears to keep them constantly moist and lubricated to maintain comfort and vision.

Tears consist of water to keep the eye surface moist, oils for essential lubrication, mucus to allow the tears to spread evenly over the surface and antibodies together with certain proteins that resist and fight infection.

Glands around the eye secrete these complex tears and if there is a dysfunction then the symptoms of dry eyes will appear.

It is difficult to understand why when you have tears pouring down your face that the cause could be a symptom of dry eyes.

In this case the tears will consist almost entirely of water and lacking the necessary components to lubricate the eye surface.

One of the symptoms of dry eyes, strangely enough, is having excessive tears, but this is a signal sent to the brain that the eyes are not having enough lubrication.

All these excessive tears are capable of is washing away some wastes from the eye surrounds and without the oils and mucus they do not coat and moisturize the eye effectively.

Apart from excessive watering, other symptoms of dry eyes are pain, in and around the eyes, a sensitivity to light, grittiness in the eye, itching, redness, or blurry vision. Causes of dry eyes

sensitivity air conditioning or other dry air environments hay fever and other allergies natural aging processes menopause side effects from certain medications a number of diseases and problems with the structure of the eyes.

A severe dry eye reaction in the eyes is one of the symptoms of Sjogren's syndrome and is mostly accompanied by an excessively dry mouth.

Diagnosis is difficult in spite of being a very common disease among adults.

Although there is no cure, relief through regular medication is obtainable.

Dry eye syndrome cannot be cured but artificial teardrops and lubricating ointments can relieve the symptoms but it is important to keep to regular applications even if your eyes feel fine.

Eyes can dry out while you sleep so remember to apply a lubricant at bedtime.

Your eye specialist can prescribe medication to help or will advise surgery which can include the temporary or permanent blocking of the ducts.

If you find that the discomfort from sticky eyelids on waking and excessive tears is increasing accompanied by a dry mouth then be persistent with your medical advisor, ask for a referral to a specialist.

Sjogren's syndrome could be the cause but it is difficult to diagnose.


Other articles on the health of your eyes can be found at http://www.eyebeautytips.com in the eye health section

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