Do your eyes burn or sting? Are your eyes constantly tearing? You may have dry eyes. Hilla Steinberg, MD, is a board-certified ophthalmologist on the Upper West Side of Manhattan who specializes in diagnosing and treating dry eyes. To get help for your dry eyes, call the office of Hilla Steinberg MD PLLC in New York City, or schedule an appointment online today.
Dry eyes occur when you have a problem with tear production. Your tears lubricate and moisten your eyes for vision and comfort; when you blink, a tear film coats the surface of your eye. This tear film has three layers, including:
The oily layer is the outer layer of your tear film. It provides a smooth surface for your eye and stops your tears from drying up too quickly.
The center of your tear film is the watery layer, which keeps your eyes clean.
The mucus layer is the inner layer of your tear film. This layer makes sure your tears stick to the eye.
Special glands in your eyes produce the layers that make up your tear film. Changes in this tear-producing system alter the balance of your tear film and cause dry eyes.
When you have dry eyes, your eyes may burn or sting. They may also feel gritty or itchy.
Some people with dry eyes may experience excess tearing. This is how your eyes respond to the lack of lubrication, sending signals that you need more tears and increasing production. However, these tears are mostly water and lack the layers needed to properly lubricate the eye.
Many conditions may cause dry eyes. However, your risk of developing dry eyes increases as you get older because of declining tear production.
Other causes of dry eyes include:
Inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren’s syndrome may affect tear production, causing the uncomfortable eye condition.
Smoky or windy environments may affect eye moisture too, as well as activities that decrease blinking, such as staring at a computer screen.
Dry eyes are also a health complication of blepharitis — an inflammation on the edges of the eyelids. This inflammation is most often caused by clogging of the oil glands at the base of the eyelid.
Dr. Steinberg takes a personalized approach to care and customizes your dry eye treatment plan based on the underlying cause. She first conducts a comprehensive eye care exam to assess your eye health and vision needs.
Treatment for your dry eyes may include:
In some cases, Dr. Steinberg may recommend surgery to address the underlying cause of your dry eyes.
To get help for your dry eyes, call the office of Hilla Steinberg MD PLLC or schedule an appointment online today.