Chronic Dry Eye
Did you know that over 16 million Americans suffer from Dry Eyes?
Dry eyes is often talked about on the TV commercials, and your eye doctor may have already given you this diagnosis. We understand it is an age related condition, or we may feel that it is allergy related. Do we know for sure?
What we do know is that the eye is dry because either we are not producing enough tears, or our tears are drying up too quickly, leaving the eye without moisture.
In my research, I have found that the major cause of dry eye is dysfunction of the meibomian gland (MGD). One study found that over 86% of dry eyes is caused by MGD.
I can almost see you scratching your head, and wondering what I just said.
The Meibomian gland is located behind the eyelashes on both the top and lower eyelids. They produce a fatty substance that is added to the tears, and slows the evaporation of the tears. When something happens to the production of the fatty substance, then we have eye problems.
MGD occurs when the meibomian glands, located in the eyelids, do not sufficiently produce and release the oils needed to protect and maintain a healthy tear film. This exposes the watery layer underneath, leading to more evaporation. Thus, the problem for many dry eye patients is not inadequate tear production, as thought for so many years, but a lack of oil production that ensures the protective integrity of the tear film is maintained on a daily basis.
While more prevalent in older adults, MGD can occur at any age. In addition, improved detection methods have shown that MGD can occur in young adults and children, possibly because of the common use of digital display devices today. Excessive use of display technologies can lead to infrequent blinking, called “evaporative stress”. Infrequent blinking creates a demand for more lubrication on the eye, stimulating more oil production from the meibomian glands. Over time, this leads to thickening of the oil, blockage of the gland opening and shutdown of oil production in the gland.
So, what can we do to alleviate dry eye? One thing we can do is to oil ourselves within. Increasing your dietary intake of Omega 3 can also improve dry eyes, according to an international panel of experts.
Recent studies also show that increasing Vitamin D levels can also reduce symptoms of dry eyes.
According to one study, people with low Vitamin D levels ( Dr. Polly On April 20, 2017 / General Social Share, Health / 23 Comments
Chronic Dry Eye Did you know that over 16 million Americans suffer from Dry Eyes? Dry eyes is often talked about on the TV commercials, and your eye doctor may have already given you this