Understanding Dry Eye Disease | Shinagawa Blog

Understanding Dry Eye Disease

The key to effective dry eye diagnosis and treatment is to understand the underlying cause of the symptoms. Dry eye is generally caused by an imbalance of the tear film that acts as a shield on the surface of our eyes. There are two primary contributors to tear film imbalance.

The first is decreased tear production however, this is now thought to be less common than once believed. The second is considered to be a leading cause of dry eye and results from blockages in the tiny meibomian glands in the eyelids. These glands produce essential oils that form the top layer of the tear film and are the core protective element that is essential to long-term eye comfort.

When the Meibomian glands are blocked or the glands have been compromised, the eye surface becomes exposed and can lead to dry eye symptoms. This condition is known as Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD). If you have MGD, treatment is essential for the long-term management of dry eye.

The tear film is a complex structure of mucin, tears, and oil that protects the surface of the eyes. When the tear film is compromised, it results in a variety of symptoms, most of which have been associated with Dry Eye and MGD (Meibomian Gland Dysfunction). Understanding the tear film is key to seeing the clear differences between tear deficiency issues and MGD, especially since MGD is more common and has a greater long-term impact on Dry Eye symptoms.

Lots of dry eye patients enjoy healthy tear production that, in some, can be evidenced by a common dry eye symptom, excessive tearing, the eyes response to combat irritation and dryness. If your tear production is healthy, your eye care professional should check the meibomian gland function and structure to determine if the protective tear film oil is being properly produced and spread on the surface of your eye.

While MGD is most often detected in adults over 40, the condition does not discriminate based on age and has also been seen in kids and young adults. That is why checking for MGD should be a part of a regular eye exam. MGD, if caught early, may play a significant role in avoiding chronic dry eye symptoms and preventing the potential for permanent gland loss.

Dry eye Syndrome and chronic dry eye symptoms can have a significant impact on daily lifestyles and can impede simple activities such as reading, working on a computer, enjoying the outdoors, or watching a TV.

One contributing factor to increased dry eye symptoms can be long-periods of digital screen time that can cause decreased blink rates. A healthy blink rate is essential to activating the oil-producing Meibomian glands to spread the needed tear oil across the surface of the eye. When blink rates decrease, it impacts the long-term functionality of the glands.

Other contributing factors that cause dry eye symptoms to flare up are dry climates, smoke, indoor air circulation, and wind. And for some, dry eye is the result of the aging process.

Whatever the cause and symptoms of your dry eye may be, it is important for you to take action.

We can take care of your dry eye problems at our flagship Shinagawa BGC branch! Call our Patient Care Lines: (+632) 7-368 5238 | (+63) 917 862 7454 | (+63) 921 217 0517 for inquiries and appointments.

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