What is Dry Eye?

Some people do not produce enough tears or the appropriate quality of tears to keep the eye healthy and comfortable. This is known as dry eye. Tears are produced by two different methods. One method produces tears at a slow, steady rate and is responsible for normal eye lubrication. The other method produces large quantities of tears in response to eye irritation or emotions. Tears that lubricate are constantly replaced by a healthy eye. Excessive tearing occurs when the eye is irritated by a foreign body, dryness or when a person cries.

What are the symptoms of dry eye?

The usual symptoms include:

  • Stinging or burning eyes
  • Scratchiness
  • Stringy mucus in or around the eyes
  • Excessive eye irritation from smoke or wind
  • Excess tearing
  • Difficulty wearing contact lenses

Excess tearing from dry eye sounds illogical, but if the tears responsible for maintenance lubrication do not keep the eye wet enough, the eye becomes irritated. When the eye is irritated, the lacrimal gland produces a large volume of tears that overwhelm the tear drainage system. These excess tears then overflow from your eye.

What is Blepharitis?

Blepharitis is a common eyelid inflammation that sometimes is associated with a bacterial eye infection, symptoms of dry eyes or certain types of skin conditions such as acne rosacea. This is a fairly common condition, but it can be difficult to find relief from the symptoms, which are:

  • itchiness, flaking, burning and redness along eyelid margins
  • foreign body sensation

How does someone get Blepharitis?

Most of the time it is hereditary and it is also commonly associated with skin conditions such as seborrhea, rosacea, dandruff, and others. It is typically present for many years before it is diagnosed. The inflammation that occurs around the eyelid margins clogs the oil glands that are vital in producing a long lasting high quality tear film. It is the poor quality and quantity of tear film that is responsible for the aforementioned symptoms.

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