Dry eyes can be caused by a number of things. You may experience dry eyes if you have decreased tear production or an imbalance in tear composition. Both of these can be corrected with available treatments. If your eyes are frequently dry and itchy, you should visit your doctor to determine the cause. But sometimes, you may not realize you have dry eyes. Here are three surprising symptoms that may indicate dry eyes.
Increased Watering of Eyes
You may think that dry eyes means you do not produce tears, but this is not necessarily the case. When eyes are dry, it is the body’s natural response to create more tears. The extra tears don’t come from the tear glands usually used to lubricate the eye. They come from the tear gland used for emotional crying. This dumps liquid on the surface which can overwhelm the eyes normal drainage mechanism. If you have an increase in watery eyes at any time, it could be an indication that your eyes are actually dry.
Many people do not realize that dry eyes can cause blurred vision. Particularly if your eyes are drier in the mornings or after naps, which is common, you may experience a period of very blurred vision until your tears are able to catch up and wet the eye. Many people think that blurred vision is a sign of a bigger problem, but in reality it could simply be dry eyes. You may be able to treat it with eye drops, but it is important to visit a doctor to determine the cause of your dry eyes.
Difficulty with Nighttime Driving
Having dry eyes can also affect your vision while driving at night. Your vision may seem to be blurred and you may have difficulty distinguishing shapes in the dark. You may also notice problems with glare from headlights and streetlamps. While these symptoms could be a sign of other problems, dry eyes could be the culprit.
If you are experiencing these or other symptoms of dry eyes, you should contact us today for an examination and assessment. We will be able to determine if dry eyes is the source of your vision distress and develop a treatment plan.
3 Diseases that Mimic Dry Eye.
We see lots of dry eye at our clinic. With experience, you see that much of what looks like dry eye, is actually a combination of problems and sometimes isn’t dry eye at all. Here are three common conditions that mimic dry eye:
Meibomian Gland Disease.
There are oil glands of the eyelid that make a clear oil that sits on top of the tear film. This keeps the oil from evaporating. Some people make an abnormal oil that doesn’t get job done. Over time the oil clogs the lid and creates inflammation that can irritate the eye. There are many good treatments but since meibomian gland disease (MGD) shares the name “blepharitis” with another condition, doctors often use the wrong treatment that cleans the lashes but doesn’t really help MGD.
Often called CCH for short, this is a very common mechanical condition of the transparent skin that covers the eyeball. Lubricants do absolutely nothing for it. In short, with CCH, we have more of this skin than we have eyeball. The skin is not as firmly adherent to the eye underneath as a normal eye. When we blink ( about 18,000 times a day) the skin gets trapped between the lids. Think of carpet that is too big for a room and keep getting caught in the door as it closes. Got it? The fix is surgical and dramatic. Patients are usually better off within 36 hours.
Lower Eyelid Disorders
Normally the lower lid is firmly against the eyeball. With age, sometimes the lid stretches and is loose. As our cheeks start falling from their youthful position, they drag the lower lid with it. This creates problems with tear film evaporation and normal flow. We do hundreds of lid surgeries each year to correct this problem.
If you have dry eye symptoms, it’s worth it to have a check with us! Call us at 813.779.3338 to book your consultation.
A Tampa Tribune reader’s poll has ranked him as Pasco’s Best Eye Surgeon for the last 3 years.
PatientsChoice.org has recognized him as one of America’s Most Compassionate Doctors for 9 years in a row (2009-2017). He again won the Patient’s Choice Award for the 9th year in row this year. Both awards are given to less than 3% of doctors and based on patient voting. Dr. Mahootchi was in the top 1% in 2017.