Dry Eye Syndrome Prevention

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Dry eye syndrome can be treated and prevented by using artificial tears that provide lubrication to the eye and covering for the corneal epithelium. Get rid of the burning and itchy sensations caused by dry eye syndrome with advice from an ophthalmologist in this free video on eye care and vision problems.

Part of the Video Series: Eye Care & Vision Problems
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Video Transcript

My name's Dr. Alan Watson. I'm an ophthalmologist in St. Joseph, Missouri, and we're here today to talk about eye problems. Dry eye syndrome is usually due to an inadequacy or the wrong type of tears on the eye. Symptoms of a dry eye include burning eyes, itchy eyes, a foreign body sensation within the eye, and so the least expensive way to treat dry eye syndrome is to use a artificial teardrop. That provides lubrication to the eye and covers the corneal epithelium, and gets rid of the burning sensation or the foreign body sensation. There's other therapies available for dry eye syndrome, too. There's a medication that's prescription called Restasis, and what that does; it's a cyclosporine molecule that actually stimulates the mucin cells on the inside of the lining of the lids to generate more mucin and also more mucin producing cells are formed, and that provides the base coat of the tear layer. Tears of your eye or actually three different layers make up your tear of your eye system. There's a mucinous layer on the inside of the tear layer, and that allows the tear film to spread out. If you just took water and dropped it on a glass slide it would tend to bead up with the surface tension, so the good lord above mixes it with mucous so it allows the tear layer to flatten out and cover a a a longer surface area, and much thinner so that you can actually see through it, because if you had a teardrop on your eye that was like a raindrop it would distort the image coming through it, so it has to be quite thin so the image isn't distorted. The problem with a very thin layer of water is that it tends to evaporate quickly, and so there's actually a lipid layer or a fat layer on the outside of your tear film, and that prevents the evaporation of the water from the eye. So, those three components, the lipid layer, the water's aqueous layer, and the mucinous layer are all necessary for a comfortable eye and good vision. This has been Dr. Alan Watson, Ophthalmologist, at St. Joseph, Missouri, discussing different eye problems, and the treatment of different eye problems with you.

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