Dry Eye is a common problem with some uncommon symptoms. For example, you wouldn’t think that a patient with Dry Eye Syndrome would have watery eyes, but many do! In response to the symptoms of Dry Eye, our eye produces more of the watery layer of the tear film. While this sometimes relieves the symptoms of Dry Eye, it often makes the condition worse. This is why many patients with a dry eye have watering eyes!
Many patients also have eyes that burn and sting. This is usually due to having tears that have an improper pH, being too acidic or too basic. I won’t bore you with chemistry 101, but suffice to say, that tears that are out of ionic balance irritate the eye. The eye tries to fix this by producing more tears, but that frequently will make the condition just a little bit better, temporarily.
Many patients with dry eye also have itchy eyes, which is usually caused by having the Meibomian glands plugged up. These glands produce the oily portion of the tears. Not only do the blocked glands give the eyelids an itchy symptom, they don’t produce enough of the lipid layer, creating a tear film that evaporates far too quickly, adding to the other symptoms that Dry Eye Causes.
As you can tell, there are different causes of Dry Eye and different symptoms. Without knowing which cause and symptoms to treat, Dry Eye patients can continue to suffer quite awhile longer than if an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment are started.