Causes of Dry Eye By My Eye Doctor Towson

Dry eye is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It occurs when the eyes are unable to produce enough tears or when the tears evaporate too quickly. While dry eye may seem like a minor inconvenience, it can actually have a significant impact on eye health and overall quality of life. In this blog post, we will explore the various causes of dry eye and the triggers that can exacerbate the condition. By understanding the underlying factors that contribute to dry eye, you can take proactive steps to manage and prevent it.

my eye doctor towsonUnderstanding Dry Eye

Dry eye occurs when the eyes do not produce enough tears, or the tears evaporate too quickly. The tear film, which consists of three layers – oil, water, and mucus, helps keep the eyes moist and lubricated. When there is an imbalance in these layers, dry eye symptoms can occur.

The Science Behind Dry Eye

Tear evaporation and tear production play crucial roles in the development of dry eye. The Meibomian glands, located at the edges of the eyelids, produce the oil layer of the tear film. This layer helps prevent tear evaporation and keeps the tears on the surface of the eye. However, if the Meibomian glands become blocked or dysfunction, the tears can evaporate too quickly, leading to dry eye syndrome.

Fatty acids, such as omega-3s, are essential for the production of the oil layer. When the body lacks these fatty acids, the tear film becomes unstable, resulting in dry eye symptoms. Additionally, certain medical conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, can affect the surface of the eye, leading to dry eye.

Common Misconceptions About Dry Eye

Contrary to popular belief, watery eyes can actually be a symptom of dry eye. When the eyes do not produce enough tears, they can become irritated, leading to watery eyes as the eyes overcompensate for the dryness. Excess tears are sometimes the eyes’ response to dry eye symptoms, not an absence of tears.

Dry eye syndrome is not solely caused by tear evaporation; tear production can also be affected. It is important to recognize that dry eye is a chronic condition that requires ongoing management and treatment. Ignoring the symptoms or assuming they will go away on their own can lead to further complications and discomfort.

Recognizing the Symptoms of Dry Eye

Recognizing the symptoms of dry eye is essential for timely management and treatment. While dryness and irritation are the most common symptoms, there are other physical indications that can occur. Redness of the eyes, the presence of a watery layer, and a feeling of good vision can all be signs of dry eye. It is important to note that dry eye can also have unseen effects on overall eye health and the amount of tears produced by the tear glands.

Physical Indications of Dry Eye

Eye redness is a common physical indication of dry eye. When the eyes are dry, the blood vessels in the eye can become dilated, resulting in redness. This redness is often accompanied by a watery layer, as the eyes attempt to compensate for the dryness.

Despite the presence of excess tears, dry eye can still impact good vision. The quality of tears plays a crucial role in maintaining clear and comfortable vision. When the tears are insufficient or imbalanced, vision can become blurry or fluctuate throughout the day. Additionally, dry eye can negatively affect overall eye health, including tear gland function and tear production.

Unseen Effects of Dry Eye

The effects of dry eye are not limited to the surface of the eye. Chronic dry eye can have implications for overall health. Insufficient tear production can impact the tear glands, leading to an increased risk of infection and inflammation. Tears help protect the eyes from foreign particles and bacteria, so a decrease in tear production can leave the eyes vulnerable.

Additionally, the amount of tears produced by the tear glands is vital for the health of the eyes. Tears provide essential nutrients and oxygen to the eye surface, promoting optimal eye health. When tear production is compromised, the eyes may not receive the necessary nourishment, increasing the risk of dryness, discomfort, and other eye conditions.

Diagnosis Procedures for Dry Eye

If you suspect you have dry eye, it is important to seek a proper diagnosis. An eye exam will assess the health of your eyes and determine the severity of your dry eye symptoms. During the exam, special dyes may be used to detect dry spots on the surface of the eye. These dyes can reveal areas of the eye that are not properly lubricated, indicating the presence of dry eye. The eye health care provider may also evaluate tear evaporation rates and the overall health of the tear film.

Common Tests for Dry Eye

To further diagnose dry eye, various tests may be conducted. These include:

  • Schirmer’s test: This test measures tear production over a specified time period. Strips of filter paper are placed under the lower eyelid, and the amount of tears absorbed is measured. Low tear production may indicate dry eye.
  • Punctal occlusion: This painless procedure involves the insertion of small plugs into the tear ducts to block tears from draining away. Punctal occlusion helps retain tears on the surface of the eye, providing relief from dry eye symptoms.
  • Tear breakup time test: This test assesses the stability of the tear film by measuring the time it takes for tears to break up on the eye surface. A shorter tear breakup time may indicate dry eye.

Advanced Diagnostic Methods

In more complex cases of dry eye, advanced diagnostic methods may be utilized. These may include:

  • Evaluation of the lacrimal gland: The lacrimal gland, responsible for tear production, may be examined for any dysfunction or abnormalities that could be contributing to dry eye symptoms.
  • Nasal spray test: A nasal spray containing an active ingredient that stimulates the lacrimal gland may be used to assess tear production. This test evaluates the lacrimal gland’s response and can provide valuable information about tear production capacities.
  • Comprehensive examination of dry eye disease: Dry eye disease is a multifactorial condition, meaning it can have multiple causes and triggers. Advanced diagnostic methods aim to identify the specific factors at play and provide a tailored treatment approach. Get your DRY EYE EVALUATION here.

In-office Procedures for Dry Eye Treatment

In more severe cases of dry eye, my eye doctor Towson may be recommended to provide targeted relief. These include:

  • Special contact lenses: Scleral lenses or other specialized contact lenses can be fitted by my eye doctor Towson to trap moisture and protect the front of the eye.
  • Eyelid massage: Massaging the eyelids can help manage Meibomian gland dysfunction, a common cause of dry eye. This massage technique helps clear any blockages in the Meibomian glands, allowing the oil layer of the tear film to function more effectively.

Living with Dry Eye

Living with dry eye may require ongoing management, but there are steps you can take to alleviate symptoms and improve your daily life. By incorporating everyday tips and seeking professional help, you can find relief from dry eye.

Everyday Tips for Managing Dry Eye

Incorporate these everyday tips to manage dry eye symptoms:

  • Use warm compresses: Applying warm compresses to the eyes can help stimulate tear production, reduce dryness, and provide temporary relief.
  • Use artificial tears: Over-the-counter artificial tears can provide lubrication and alleviate dry eye symptoms. Use them as needed throughout the day to moisturize the eyes.
  • Practice proper eyelid hygiene: Clean the eyelids regularly, gently massaging the eyelids to manage Meibomian gland dysfunction. This can help clear any blockages in the glands, promoting the production of healthy tears.

When to Seek Professional Help for Dry Eye

If you experience persistent dry eye symptoms or severe discomfort, it is essential to seek my eye doctor Towson. My eye doctor Towson can assess your condition and provide appropriate treatment options. Consider seeking professional help in the following situations:

  • Severe cases of dry eye: If your dry eye symptoms are severe, causing significant discomfort or affecting your quality of life, a health care provider can offer more advanced treatment options, such as Punctal occlusion or specialized contact lenses.
  • Watery eyes: If you have watery eyes, it may be a sign of underlying dry eye disease that requires medical attention.
  • Chronic dry eye conditions: If you have chronic dry eye conditions, it is important to see a health care provider for a comprehensive exam and tailored treatment approach.


In conclusion, understanding the causes of dry eye is crucial in order to effectively manage and prevent this condition. It’s important to recognize that lifestyle choices, environmental factors, and even certain medications can contribute to the development of dry eye. By making small adjustments to our daily habits, such as taking breaks from digital screens, staying hydrated, and using artificial tears, we can alleviate symptoms and improve overall eye health. However, it’s also essential to seek my eye doctor Towson if symptoms persist or worsen. Ongoing research in the field of dry eye is continuously improving our understanding of this condition, leading to more effective treatments and prevention strategies. Remember, your eye health is just as important as any other aspect of your well-being, so don’t hesitate to prioritize it. Want to read more about “My Dry Eye Miracle!” just visit our blog page today to read all about it!

Experience relief from the discomfort of dry eyes with Dry Eye Center of Maryland‘s specialized services. Uncover the root causes behind this common ailment by exploring the triggers that exacerbate dry eye symptoms. Our expert team offers personalized solutions tailored to your unique needs, providing comprehensive care to restore comfort and clarity to your vision. Take the first step towards improved eye health and contact us today to schedule your consultation.

FAQs about Causes of Dry Eye: Learn the Triggers

  1. What is the most common cause of dry eye?
    The most common cause of dry eye is Meibomian gland dysfunction, where the glands in the eyelids responsible for tear production do not function properly. When these glands become blocked or dysfunctional, the tears are not able to effectively lubricate the eyes, resulting in dryness and discomfort. Other causes of dry eye can include environmental factors, such as dry air or excessive screen time, certain medications, and medical conditions. It is important to consult with my eye doctor Towson for a proper diagnosis and to determine the underlying cause of dry eye to create an appropriate treatment plan.
  2. Do dry eyes go away?
    Dry eyes may resolve on their own if the cause is temporary. However, chronic dry eyes usually require ongoing treatment to manage symptoms. Treatment options include artificial tears, prescription eye drops, and lifestyle changes. It’s important to consult an eye doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment recommendations.
  3. Can dietary factors contribute to dry eye?
    Yes, dietary choices such as low intake of omega-3 fatty acids or dehydration can exacerbate dry eye symptoms.
  4. Does wearing contact lenses worsen dry eye?
    Yes, contact lens wear can contribute to dry eye symptoms due to decreased oxygen permeability and increased evaporation of tears.
  5. Are there specific medical conditions linked to dry eye?
    Medical conditions such as autoimmune diseases like Sjögren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, or diabetes can increase the risk of developing dry eye.

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