Dry eye is a condition where your eye is not producing enough lubricating tears. This can be a little confusing since one of the most common symptoms of dry eye syndrome is excessive watering of the eyes! How is this possible?
The eye makes two different types of tears:
Contain a precise balance of water mucus, oil, nutrient proteins, and antibodies to nourish and protect the front surface of the eye. Lubricating tears are produced slowly and steadily throughout the day.
Do not have much lubricating value. Reflex tears are exactly what the name suggests, they are an automatic reflex to flush the eye when it is suddenly irritated or injured. These tears gush out in such large quantities that the tear drainage system can’t handle them all and they spill out onto your cheek. Reflex tears might occur when you get something in your eye when you’re cutting onions, when you’re around smoke, or when you accidentally scratch your eye. With dry eye syndrome, the primary cause of reflex tearing is irritation of the eye from lack of lubricating tears.
In addition to continuous reflex tearing, many patients describe their symptoms as if they had a spec of sand in their eye. Itching and burning can occur. Vision can become blurry and the eyes can become red and produce a mucous discharge.
Dry eye syndrome often occurs as a part of the natural aging process. As we age, glands in the eyelid produce less oil which allows tears to evaporate too quickly. Oil keeps tears from evaporating off the eye, preventing the eye from becoming too dry.
There are roughly 30 million people in the United States and over 300 million worldwide who have been diagnosed with dry eye. Most have learned to live with eye discomfort and have become dependent on drops or other treatment methods that only offer temporary relief. This has been due to a lack of understanding that the root cause of most dry eye (86%) is now known to be a chronic and progressive condition, Meibomian Gland Dysfunction or MGD.
MGD occurs when there is a compromise to the function and/or structure of the meibomian glands in the eyelids that produce the protective oily layer of the tear film. These glands can become blocked over time and can no longer produce oils needed for healthy tears. This blockage results in rapid evaporation of your tears and can lead to irritation, discomfort and if not treated gland dropout.
Measuring your rate of tear production and checking how long it takes for tears to evaporate in between blinks are two ways your eye doctor can check for dry eye. By using magnifying instruments, the doctor can also check for pinpoint scratches on the front surface of the eye caused by dryness using special, colored eyedrops called fluorescein or Rose Bengal.
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My first eye exam at Boulder Eye Surgeons was very thorough and informative. The technician that gave the eye exam was very friendly and explained exactly what was going on behind these blue peepers regarding my far sightedness! Dr. Keller is my favorite eye doctor and I would recommend him for any serious eye difficulty.
I wouldn’t trust my eyes to anyone other than Boulder Eye Surgeons. THE BEST!!!
Short wait to be seen. Everyone makes you feel comfortable. Working with Chris was great. Dr. Cuevas explains things in easy to understand terms and is never condescending. He makes you feel secure in his knowledge. Dr. Cuevas is my go-to guy for eye problems.
Boulder Eye Surgeons have made it easy to visit safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. My appointment was on-time and efficiently executed. This is an outstanding ophthalmology office.
Always professional - always 'top notch'. Dr. Keller and the staff are always respectful and kind. I feel that Dr. Keller is an excellent eye surgeon that I can trust.
Pre and post cataract surgery followup with BES staff was excellent. All staff members were very knowledgeable and efficient as I called several times with questions. Surgery with Dr. Cuevas was excellent and I am very happy so far with results. Dr. Cuevas was clear and transparent with answers to my post-surgery questions and spent substantial time with me pre-surgery to make sure we came up with the best solution to meet my athletic vision requirements. I highly recommend Boulder Eye Surgeons.
The professionalism of the entire staff is impressive. Dr. Nichols spent adequate time with me explaining everything thoroughly. My daughter came with me and he took the time to address her concerns and answer her questions. The Optical department is just as 5 star as the rest of the practice. I am so grateful to these people for how they are addressing my problems with my eyes which involve a complex medical condition.
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