Dry eye is a complex disease of the tears and the ocular surface and often presents with symptoms including irritation, foreign body sensation, and fluctuating vision. Dryness of the ocular surface is often accompanied with an increase in the saltiness of the tear film which causes corneal inflammation and pain. A normal healthy tear film is made up of three layers, an inner mucin layer, a middle watery aqueous layer and an outer oily lipid layer. Maintaining a perfect balance of these three layers is vital to prevent dry eye disease.


schirmer test dry eye brisbane indooroopillyThere are two types of dry eye commonly found in individuals. The most common form is known as evaporative dry eye and is caused by the increased evaporation of the tear film. This form accounts for almost 90% of dry eyes. Evaporative dry eye is caused by low humidity, warm dry air, wind and reduced blinking associated with visual concentration. Eyelid disease associated with blepharitis and meibomian gland dysfunction is also a common cause of evaporative dry eye.

The second form of dry eye is known as aqueous deficient dry eye and is caused by the decreased production of the watery component of the tear layer. Aqueous defecient dry eye is caused by aging, thyroid disease, sjogrens syndrome, and certain medications including antihistamines, anti-depressants, oral contraceptives and following laser and cataract surgery.

At dean samarkovski OPTOMETRIST we accurately confirm the cause of your dry eye symptoms using various tests including estimating your tear production using the Schirmer Test (a paper strip with an imprinted measuring scale), microscopic examination with various special dyes, and careful examination of your eyelid margin. 

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