post-title Allergy Eye Or Dry Eye? 2014-01-24 07:51:15 yes no Posted by

Allergy Eye Or Dry Eye?

By Dr. Michael Franz Many of my older patients with watery irritated eyes have been to their ophthalmologist recently and have been diagnosed with a condition called DRY EYE. Even my ophthalmologist told me I have DRY EYE. The symptoms of DRY EYE are the feeling of irritation, a gritty sensation, burning and yes WATERY […]

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MichaelFranz-300x260By Dr. Michael Franz

Many of my older patients with watery irritated eyes have been to their ophthalmologist recently and have been diagnosed with a condition called DRY EYE. Even my ophthalmologist told me I have DRY EYE. The symptoms of DRY EYE are the feeling of irritation, a gritty sensation, burning and yes WATERY EYES! If you also have eye allergy your eyes will also itch and be blood shot red. You will probably blink excessively and rub your eyes to relieve the discomfort. So you ask; If I have DRY EYE why do my eyes water? To understand this you have to understand a little tear chemistry. Your tears are made of mostly watery material that is produced by relatively large LACRIMAL GLANDS and are sent to your eyes through a small tube or duct called the Lacrimal Duct. This is where the tears from crying come from, and the watery eyes that occur when you have allergies and other irritation to your eyes. During normal times your eyes also have a moist protective coating called the tear film. This tear film is held together by oil secreted from about 70 small glands located in your eyelids. Every time you blink and your top lid touches your bottom lid these small MEIBOMIAN GLANDS squirt oil that stabilizes the tear film and lubricates the eye and protects it. As we age, these glands do not produce enough oil or the oil is not of high quality. This causes the surface of the eye to become dry and subsequently irritated. It is this irritation that sends the message to the big LACRIMAL GLANDS to produce tears which help relieve the irritating discomfort.

1074000287_b28d96e42d_mSo this is why DRY EYE makes your eyes watery. Maybe the ophthalmologist should change the name to MEIBOMIAN GLAND DEFICIENCY. Other reasons for dry eyes include certain autoimmune diseases and side effects from medications like antihistamines and anti-depressants. Finding the right treatment to reduce DRY EYE symptoms can involve trying different products that are available over the counter. Some of the newer products try to replenish the tear film’s oil layer and some are preservative free. Of course I you have ALLERGY EYE and DRY EYE (meibomian gland deficiency) treating the allergy will definitely help.

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