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Dry Eye: FAQs

November 20, 2020

What happens if dry eye does untreated?

Leaving dry eye untreated can only come with negative side effects. Those battling untreated severe dry eye can experience eye inflammation, corneal surface abrasions, corneal ulcers, and even potentially vision loss. Not only does it have horrible side effects, but it also simply decreases your overall quality of life so it is always a better idea to treat it sooner rather than later.

What aggravates dry eye?

 Prolonged computer use can cause eye strain which can definitely aggravate dry eye symptoms. External factors cut as exposure to air conditioning, heating, allergens, and simple dust.

What kind of condition is dry eye?

Dry eye is a very common eye condition that happens when the eyes don’t produce enough tears for lubrication. Many people either don’t produce enough tears or only produce low-quality tears which don’t really help the lubrication process. Dry eye is very common and there are methods to combatting these symptoms. Many people utilize artificial tears to provide that eye lubrication and also use warm, damp washcloths to sooth the eyes.

What are the symptoms of dry eye?

The most common symptoms of dry eye are dry, red, inflamed eyes that are uncomfortable and sensitive to light. Those who suffer from dry eye also state that they feel like something is in their eye.

How can dry eye cause permanent eye damage?

The function of tears are to protect the top layer of your eye from infection. When there is a lack of tears, the surface of your eye can become infected and damaged. The damage can eventually lead to eye inflammation, as well as corneal surface abrasions, corneal ulcers, and eventual vision loss.

How do optometrists diagnose dry eye?

During your annual eye exam your optometrist will analyze your eyes and also take into consideration the medications you’re currently taking. Your optometrist may also put blotting strips in your lower eyelid to analyze for dry eye. They may also ask you more questions about your eyes and potential symptoms and perform tests to find the cause of your dry eye.

What is tear film made of?

The tear film in the eye consists of three different layers. An oil layer, a water layer, and a mucin layer. The oil layer is also referred to as the ‘lipid’ layer and the water layer is also referred to as the ‘aqueous’ layer. In tandem, these lames work together to maintain the moisture levels in the eyes, as well as maintain the overall health of the eyes.

Why do eyes need to be “wet” anyways?

Well, the essential tear film helps to hydrate the eyes which allows your eyelids to effortlessly glide over your eyeballs, keeping them moisturized. Not only that, but the layer of lubrication keeps your eyes safe from other foreign things such as germs, toxins, and other foreign bodies.

Can drinking more water help with dry eye?

Yes. In fact, drinking more water should be prioritize when suffering with dry eye. Being hydrated can oftentimes be the best treatment for dry eye, so be sure to drink tons of water.

What can you do for extremely dry eyes?

You may find some relief  of your dry eye symptoms by applying a warm, wet washcloth to your eyes for five minutes at a time. Due to dry eye symptoms, it is best to keep the eyes clean. You can do so by using a mild soap or baby soap and washing both the eyelashes and eyelids.

What is the best eye drops for severe dry eyes?

To find the best eyedrops, you may have to try out a few different ones. However, some of the more popular eyedrops are non-preservative drops such as, Systane Ultra, TheraTear, and Refresh. Depending on the condition of your dry eye and if your oil layer is diminished, your doctor may recommend drops that have oil in them.

What is a good vitamin for dry eye?

Some of the best vitamins for combatting dry eye are vitamin B12, vitamin B6, vitamin E and vitamin C. Zinc, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can also help with improving dry eye.

What foods help with dry eye in Auckalnd, NZ?

Luckily, there are some foods that can help with combatting dry eye. Some foods like fish, seeds, beans, water, and leafy greens. The most important thing when dealing with dry eye is to stay hydrated. Drinking tons of water will help your dry eyes, so be sure to prioritize your water intake.

Can dry eye lead to blindness?

When left untreated, dry eyes can do serious damage to the cornea and cause vision loss and potentially eventual blindness. The lack of tear supply causes an increase in eye infection which eventually damages the surface of the eye and can cause corneal surface abrasions and vision loss.

Can lack of sleep cause dry eye?

Having your eyes open for extended periods of time will eventually cause dry, itchy, or bloodshot eyes. Overtime, you can begin to produce less tears and therefore cause dry eye.

What causes dry eyes in the morning?

Usually, when dry eyes feel worsened in the morning it is usually due to low humidity in the room. Low humidity in the air while you sleep can cause dry eye symptoms and worsen dry eye symptoms due to the fact that low humidity tends to evaporate tears quickly. By sleeping with a humidifier on, you add moisture back into the air which can help to prevent those pesky dry eye symptoms like waking up in the morning with really dry eyes.

Why do I have dry itchy eyes?

Whether it be due to genetics, external factors, or old age, dry eye is very common. Tears are made up of oil, water, and mucus, and work together to keep the eyes moisturized and healthy. Tears are essential to the health of the eye and when the tear supply drops and your eyes don’t receive enough moisture, dry eye symptoms begin.

What types of preventative eye care can help me avoid or minimize dry eye?

A great way to prevent your eyes from drying out and causing dry eye in the future, is to wear sunglasses, especially on windy, dry days. The wind can cause increased tear evaporation, so it is important to protect your eyes from the wind. Not blinking enough can also cause dry eye, so be sure to blink, especially when eyes feel dry.

Is dry eye permanent?

Dry eye can be both a temporary or a chronic condition; chronic meaning that it has gone on for a long time.  Some patients may experience their dry eye symptoms completely go away, and some symptoms may get better but never completely go away. It will vary person to person.

Should I see an ophthalmologist in Auckland, NZ for dry eye?

Yes. When suffering with dry eye symptoms, an ophthalmologist will surely help you get to the root of your dry eye issue. They will also find the best treatments for you to utilize, as this special kind of doctor specializes in disorders and diseases of the eye.

How Do Eye Doctors Diagnose Dry Eye Syndrome?


Eye Doctors, or more commonly referred to as Optometrists, conduct a comprehensive dry eye exam. Such an exam includes some, but not limited to the following:

  • Assess your tear volume and tear evaluation

  • Take a photo of oil-producing glands on eyelids

  • Measure the quality and the volume of your tears’ oil layer, as well as its saltiness


What Are Some Natural Ways to Treat Eye Dryness?


Some natural eye dryness treatment you may try at home are the following:

  • Drinking water - staying hydrated can help lessen eye dryness

  • Eating food with omega-3 fatty acids - they contain healthy oil that helps your eyes’ oil-producing glands; they are usually found in fishes, chia seeds, and soybean oil to name a few

  • Daily and gentle washing of eyelids with a warm washcloth - this helps alleviate the inflammation

  • Getting a humidifier in your house - it adds moisture to the environment

  • Wearing protective eyewear gear - especially in windy areas as air can cause dryness

  • Rest your eyes - strained eyes caused by frequent reading or device exposure can lead to dryness, it is important to rest so that your eyes can regain moisture


What are the Complications of Dry Eye? 


Some well-known complications for Dry Eye include redness, soreness, and decreased productivity as it may affect your daily life activity if left untreated in the long run.


Are There Medical Treatments for Dry Eye?


Yes, there are a variety of medical treatment options for Dry Eye. Some of which include 


What Happens if Dry Eye Goes Untreated? 

If left untreated, having a Dry Eye can have a detrimental impact on your everyday life. Such an instance might make it difficult for you to read, drive, or even watch TV. Moreover, the soreness and inflammation may turn into a more serious complication like conjunctivitis.

Can a Dry House Cause Dry Eyes?

Yes, which is why having a humidifier is important to add some moisture.

Can I Wear Contacts If I Have Dry Eye Syndrome? 

Wearing a contact lens might cause additional discomfort when you have Dry Eye Syndrome. Moreover, it could cause more dryness, although you do not have to completely let go of wearing your pair of contact if you really need it. Depending on your situation, you may check with your Eye Doctor what the recommendation and adjustments would be.

Is Dry Eye a Disease?


Yes, it is a condition where the eyes are unable to produce tears for lubrication and moisture.

Why Am I Not Producing Enough Tears? 

The most common reason behind it is aging next to pre-existing or triggering medical conditions (e.g. diabetes, thyroid problems) and medications (e.g. antihistamines, hormonal medications, antidepressants).  

How Common is Dry Eye? 

Dry Eye is a common condition among older people, as the most common cause of this is aging.