As more time is spent staring at computer and smartphone screens eye doctors are seeing the number of dry eye complaints rising. Patients at first may attribute their discomfort to simple eye fatigue or even seasonal allergies. In fact it has become one of the most common reasons for people to visit their eye doctor.
Unlike reading a book or even watching TV, focusing on these screens requires our eye muscles to work much harder when our eyes move back and forth. Forgotten is the rate at which we blink our eyes and this causes much of the problem. Blinking performs an extremely important function as it stimulates tear production and spreads the tears over the surface of the eye. As we continue to forget to blink with enough frequency serious issues can result with our eyes feeling gritty and dry.
The 2 main forms of dry eye are aqueous deficient and evaporative dry eye. With aqueous deficiency the lacrimal glands don’t produce enough water to keep the eye moist. People often believe this to be the cause of their dry eyes and yet in only a small percentage (14%) is aqueous deficiency the issue.
In most of the remaining cases evaporative dry eye is found to be the cause. The eyelids has Meibomian glands that when functioning properly create an oil layer of tears. Without this layer of oil tears evaporate 4 to 16 times faster and the result is discomfort and dryness.When the glands are blocked and can’t perform their job evaporative dry eye is the result.
There are treatment options are available and range from prescription eye drops with different treatments which can help unblock the Meibomian glands. Our Calgary Optometrists can diagnose and offer the best treatment options to patients.
Book an appointment or contact us today for more information.