Welcome To Eyeworld Vision Center
Dry eye is a condition in which there are insufficient tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. Tears are necessary for maintaining the health of the front surface of the eye and for providing clear vision. People with dry eyes either do not produce enough tears or have a poor quality of tears. Dry eye is a common and often chronic problem, particularly in older adults.
With each blink of the eyelids, tears are spread across the front surface of the eye, known as the cornea. Tears provide lubrication, reduce the risk of eye infection, wash away foreign matter in the eye, and keep the surface of the eyes smooth and clear. Excess tears in the eyes flow into small drainage ducts, in the inner corners of the eyelids, which drain in the back of the nose.
Dry eyes can result from an improper balance of tear production and drainage.
- Inadequate amount of tears – Tears are produced by several glands in and around the eyelids. Tear production tends to diminish with age, with various medical conditions, or as a side effect of certain medicines. Environmental conditions such as wind and dry climates can also affect tear volume by increasing tear evaporation. When the normal amount of tear production decreases or tears evaporate too quickly from the eyes, symptoms of dry eye can develop.
- Poor quality of tears – Tears are made up of three layers: oil, water, and mucus. Each component serves a function in protecting and nourishing the front surface of the eye. A smooth oil layer helps to prevent evaporation of the water layer, while the mucin layer functions in spreading the tears evenly over the surface of the eye. If the tears evaporate too quickly or do not spread evenly over the cornea due to deficiencies with any of the three tear layers, dry eye symptoms can develop.
The most commo form of dry eyes is due to an inadequate amount of the water layer of tears. This condition, called keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), is also referred to as dry eye syndrome.
People with dry eyes may experience symptoms of irritated, 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 of the eye and impair vision.
Treatments for dry eyes aim to restore or maintain the normal amount of tears in the eye to minimize dryness and related discomfort and to maintain eye health.
Dry eyes can be a chronic condition, but your optometrist can prescribe treatment to keep your eyes healthy, more comfortable, and prevent your vision from being affected. The primary approaches used to manage and treat dry eyes include adding tears, conserving tears, increasing tear production, and treating the inflammation of the eyelids or eye surface that contributes to the dry eyes.
- Adding tears – Mild cases of dry eyes can often be managed using over-the-counter artificial tear solutions. These can be used as often as needed to supplement natural tear production. Preservative-free artificial tear solutions are recommended because they contain fewer additives that could further irritate the eyes. However, some people may have persistent dry eyes that don’t respond to artificial tears alone. Additional steps need to be taken to treat their dry eyes.
- Conserving tears – An additional approach to reducing the symptoms of dry eyes is to keep natural tears in the eyes longer. This can be done by blocking the tear ducts through which the tears normally drain. The tear ducts can be blocked with tiny silicone or gel-like plugs that can be removed, if needed. A surgical procedure to permanently close tear ducts can also be used. In either case, the goal is to keep the available tears in the eye longer to reduce problems related to dry eyes.
- Increasing tear production – Prescription eye drops that help to increase production of tears can be recommended by your optometrist, as well as omega-3 fatty acid nutritional supplements.
- Treatment of the contributing eyelid or ocular surface inflammation – Prescription eye drops or ointments, warm compresses and lid massage, or eyelid cleaners may be recommended to help decrease inflammation around the surface of the eyes.
To all of our loyal supporters:
In 2010 we will celebrate our 25th year serving the eye care needs of South Alabama.
I think back to our early days, (1985 in Chickasaw) and I’m astonished at your level of support
throughout the years. Thank you!
We’re fully aware that our accomplishments are not simply attributable to good management
or hard-working employees. We grew and prospered with God’s Blessing and because we
found some great friends like you who gave us loyal support along the way. We want to let
you know how much we appreciate you continuing to rely on our office for your vision care
So this is a thank-you note—for allowing us to care for your vision needs, for putting up with
occasional errors due to “growing pains,” and just for helping to put Eyeworld Vision Center
on the map. The future looks bright, and we want to acknowledge your contribution to this
rosy outlook. As we say in Alabama, “’Preciate it!”
Phil and Sherry Gillette
EYEWORLD VISION CENTER
1088 Industrial Parkway I-65 Exit 13 Across From Wal-Mart.
Phone 251-675-3666 Fax 251-675-9366 Toll Free 1-800-453-0912
7930 Moffett Rd. 1 Block West of Schillinger Rd. Across From WalMart
Phone 251-645-2991 Fax 251-645-0723