Tear Film Imbalance
When one or more components of the tear film (water, oils or proteins) is deficient or not in balance, this can lead to the tear film evaporating too quickly on the eye surface, leaving you with gritty, painful eyes.
This often called evaporative dry eye and the most common cause of dry eyes.
If the issue is a deficiency of the water component of the tear film, the term aqueous deficient dry eyes is commonly used.
Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD)
With MGD, tear film secretions thicken and the meibomian glands – tiny holes in the eyelids – become blocked. Once these holes are clogged up and inflamed, the tear film or protective moisture layer on the eye surface becomes deficient and can not lubricate and protect the eye as normal.
Related to this are poorly functioning lacrimal glands. The lacrimal gland sit just above the eye and act like a small reservoir for the tear film fluids.
Studies have suggested that the meibomian glands and tear film stability are, in part, regulated by our hormones, specifically androgens.
Autoimmune diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis and Sjogrens Syndrome (Show-grins) affect the body’s moisture glands, including the eyes. Not everyone with an autoimmune disease will be affected by dry eyes. However, Sjogrens is very common in older people. A dry mouth is also a common hallmark of Sjogrens.
Some prescription medications for long term or chronic conditions can be a cause of dry eyes.
It is likely, however, that the medications are the catalyst for disturbing the body’s complex hormone production system, in affect, throwing the body out of balance.
Blepharitis and complications from Lasik eye surgery are also potential causes.
Blepharitis is a frustrating and painful condition causing chronic inflammation of the eyelids. It often leads to or is associated with MGD and disruption of proper tear film flow.
Many of the reasons for chronic dry eyes can be linked to a root cause, an underlying imbalance in the body that produces a deficiency in the tear film or accompanying glands.
But what are these underlying reasons?
Putting lasik surgery to one side, Blepharitis and MGD are simply the names given to a number of related ailments affecting the health of your eyes.
These medical names serve to describe a collection of symptoms that stem from a root cause.
In other words, a ‘dysfunction’ or a ‘syndrome’ are really just names for the symptoms, not the real reason you are unwell and fed up.
Think of it this way: once you put a label on a disease or illness it naturally allows a treatment path to evolve, typically based around medications and pharmaceutical solutions. This is the natural flow of things – call it medical dogma if you will.
We’ve been taught to believe there is a pill for every ill….and, for the most part, to be happy consumers of modern medicine: pharmaceutical medicine.
Meanwhile your body does not care what your disease is called, it only knows it is deficient somehow – and sick.
Where dry eye solutions are concerned, much anecdotal evidence points to the fact that pharmaceutical solutions by themselves don’t work and do nothing to address the underlying causes of dry eyes.
If you want to cure your dry eyes and be happy and healthy, you are in the the right place.