Dry eye is a condition where an individual doesn’t have enough quality tears to oil and nourish the eye. Tears are essential for preserving the health of the front surface area of the eye and for supplying clear vision. Dry eye is a common and frequently chronic issue, especially in older adults.
How Does Dry Eyes Affect Vision?
Question: “does dry eye affect vision?” Answer is “yes“.
With each blink of the eyelids, tears spread throughout the front surface of the eye, referred to as the cornea. Tears supply lubrication, lower the risk of eye infection, get rid of contaminant in the eye, and keep the surface area of the eyes smooth and clear. Excess tears in the eyes flow into little drainage ducts in the inner corners of the eyelids, which drain pipes into the back of the nose. Dry eyes can occur when tear production and drain is not in balance.
People with dry eyes either do not produce adequate tears or their tears are of a poor quality:
- Insufficient quantity of tears. Tears are produced by a number of glands around the eyelids. Tear production tends to reduce with age, with numerous medical conditions or as a side effect of particular medications. Ecological conditions, such as wind and dry climates, can also reduce tear volume due to increased tear evaporation. When the normal quantity of tear production decreases or tears evaporate too quickly from the eyes, symptoms of dry eye can establish.
- Poor quality of tears. Tears are made up of three layers: oil, water and mucus. Each element protects and nurtures the front surface area of the eye. A smooth oil layer assists avoid evaporation of the water layer, while the mucin layer spreads the tears evenly over the surface area of the eye. If the tears vaporize too quickly or do not spread out uniformly over the cornea due to shortages with any of the 3 tear layers, dry eye symptoms can develop.
The most common type of dry eyes occurs when the water layer of tears is inadequate. This condition, called keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), is also referred to as dry eye syndrome.
People with dry eyes may experience inflamed, gritty, scratchy or burning eyes; a feeling of something in their eyes; excess watering; and blurred vision. Advanced dry eyes may damage the front surface area of the eye and hinder vision.
Treatments for dry eyes aim to bring back or preserve the normal amount of tears in the eye to lessen dryness and related pain and to preserve eye health.