Dry Eye Treatment From Our Kailua-Kona Optometrist
"Dry eye" is a deceptively mild term for what can be a significant problem for your ocular health, vision, and comfort. Chronically dry, red, itchy eyes may be producing inadequate tear film, the essential coating that lubricates, moistens and protects the corneas. Without that protective film, you may suffer from a number of irritating symptoms and might even experience eye damage. The good news is that help is available right here from our Kailua-Kona optometrist at Wally Kojima, O.D. and Associates.
What Is Dry Eye, and Why Do You Have It?
The eye is a delicate organ that requires constant protection and support to keep it in good working order. This is why your tear glands must produce ready quantities of a complex substance known as tears. Tears cover the front of the eyes every time you blink, providing a three-layered coating of:
- Mucous, which holds the tear film onto the eye and helps to guard against infectious agents
- Water, which keeps the tissues of the eye properly hydrated
- Oil (produced by separate glands in the eyelid called meibomian glands), which prevents tear evaporation
Dry occurs when your eye either cannot produce enough tears to maintain the tear film or cannot produce the right balance between these three ingredients. Even if your eyes are constantly watering (one common symptom of dry eye, oddly enough), that water will simply dry up without a protective oil layer on top of it. These insufficiencies and imbalances may be caused by:
- Age-related changes
- Medications that have a drying effect on the body
- Auto-immune conditions that promote dryness
- Dry, windy environments, including rooms with ceiling fans
- Constant computer use, which discourages the normal blinking that produces and renews the tear film
- Clogged meibomian glands
- Previous eye injury or surgery that has affected the tear glands
Our Eye Doctor in Kailua-Kona Can Help Your Dry Eyes
Dry eye symptoms typically include a gritty, irritated feeling in the eyes, along with blurry vision, crusting at the corners of the eyes, light sensitivity, redness, watering (as mentioned above) and eye fatigue. Left untreated, this condition exposes the corneas to potential damage, infection, and ulceration. That's why your dry eyes should be glad to see our eye doctor in Kailua-Kona. Examinations of your tear film composition/quantity, medical history and lifestyle can help Dr. Kojima determine exactly why your dry eye is occurring.
Treatment for dry eye depends on the specific cause. Artificial tears and eye drops can soothe age-related dry eye, while changes in your work habits can help you blink more regularly and stay away from wind sources. We may also recommend changes in your medical regimen (consulting your physician) or meibomian gland treatment.
Call Wally Kojima, O.D. and Associates for Dry Eye Treatment
The right dry eye treatment can bring welcome relief from the discomfort, vision issues and health worries associated with the condition. Call our clinic at 808-331-8081 for a consultation! We look forward to seeing you!