Dry Eyes

Dry EyeDo your eyes feel tired or scratchy? Do you occasionally feel as if you have sand in your eyes? Do your eyes water for no apparent reason? You may have dry eyes. Until recently treatment consisted mainly of artificial tears or lubricants. There now exists a variety of options for managing the discomfort of dry eyes, including the first ever prescription medication for the treatment of dry eyes.

When you blink, a film of tears spreads over the eye, making the surface of the eye smooth and clear. Without this tear film, good vision would not be possible.

Sometimes people don’t produce enough tears or the right quality of tears to keep their eyes healthy and comfortable. This condition is known as dry eye.

The tear film consists of three layers:

  • An oily layer;
  • A watery layer;
  • A layer of mucus.

Each layer has its own purpose. The oily layer, produced by the meibomian glands, forms the outermost surface of the tear film. Its main purpose is to smooth the tear surface and reduce evaporation of tears.

The middle watery layer makes up most of what we ordinarily think of as tears. This layer, produced by the lacrimal glands in the eyelids, cleanses the eye and washes away foreign particles or irritants.

The inner layer consists of mucus produced by the conjunctiva. Mucus allows the watery layer to spread evenly over the surface of the eye and helps the eye remain moist. Without mucus, tears would not stick to the eye.

Normally, the eye constantly bathes itself in tears. By producing tears at a slow and steady rate, the eye stays moist and comfortable.

The eye uses two different methods to produce tears. It can make tears at a slow, steady rate to maintain normal eye lubrication. It can also produce a lot of tears in response to eye irritation or emotion. When a foreign body or dryness irritates the eye, or when a person cries, excessive tearing occurs.

It may not sound logical that dry eye would cause excess tearing, but think of it as the eye's response to discomfort. If the tears responsible for maintaining lubrication do not keep the eye wet enough, the eye becomes irritated. Eye irritation prompts the gland that makes tears (called the lacrimal gland) to release a large volume of tears, overwhelming the tear drainage system. These excess tears then overflow from your eye.

Call the Ophthalmology Associates Dry Eye Center at Cityview at 817-346-2969 for an appointment. Dr. Cary Burton and Dr. Dwayne Roberts are highly trained in all aspects of dry eye disease and provide the best available treatment.

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Fort Worth
Main Office

1201 Summit Avenue
Fort Worth, TX 76102


Telephone:
817-332-2020

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5801 Oakbend Trail,
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Ft Worth, TX 76132

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Hurst, TX 76054

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3906 Highway 377, Suite 103
Granbury, TX 76049


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804 Santa Fe Drive
Weatherford, TX 76086


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817-594-9500

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