If you have dry, red and itchy eyes, then you are suffering from dry eye syndrome. However, there isn't just one type of syndrome. There are two primary types and you must know the differences between them in order to diagnose which one you have. This is crucial to ensure you receive the right treatment.
Evaporative Dry Eye Syndrome
This is the most common type of dry eye and is said to affect roughly 60 percent of dry eye patients who do not wear contact lenses, according to a study conducted by Contact Lens Spectrum. The percentage is similar for those who do wear lenses.
This type of dry eye occurs when the meibomian glands become blocked and inflamed, which results in water loss in the eye. It can be caused by everyday activities, such as staring at the computer screen or smartphone screen for a significant portion of the day. When one stares at a screen for an extended period of time, they will blink less often, which will cause the eye surface to become dry. Those who wear contacts or suffer from allergies are also susceptible to this type of dry eye.
Aqueous-Deficient Dry Eye
This is another form of dry eye syndrome that results in a decreased tear volume due to a reduction in the lacrimal secretion. Individuals with Sjorgren's Syndrome are known to suffer from this particular form of dry eye as a side effect. Sjogren's Syndrome is an autoimmune disease that results in white blood cells attacking the glands that create moisture in the eye.
However, you do not have to have this chronic disease in order to suffer from aqueous-deficient dry eye. Unstable tear production can be a result of many things, including certain medications.
Severity of the Dry Eye
Now that you have determined which dry eye syndrome you are suffering, you can delve into the treatment options with your physician. It is crucial that the severity of your dry eye is determined before approaching any type of treatment. There is currently no cure for chronic dry eye, but it can be managed. If you do not manage it, the dry eye will not improve and you will continue to be uncomfortable in your daily routine. It will also only continue to get worse.
Once you and your optician, such as Byrne William, at your local eye care center can identify what is causing your dry, itchy, red eyes, you can begin the journey to improved comfort.