Logo James K. Kurata, O.D.
Jennifer M. Chin, O.D.
OPTOMETRIST
200 S. San Pedro Street
Suite B
Los Angeles, Ca 90012 | Map Us!
Tel: (213) 617-2020
Fax: (213) 617-3184

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Dry eye is a medical condition that affects an estimated 20 million people in the United States alone. Dry eye most often results from inadequate lubrication of the eye. Symptoms may be occasional discomfort or chronic and potentially vision-threatening, whether mild or painful. Only your eye care specialist can properly diagnose your dry eye problem.
 
The Importance of Eye Lubrication:
Tears and Tear Film
Good vision starts with a good tear film that must constantly be produced and spread over our eyes to keep them moist.

Tear film:
Bathes, refreshes and protects the surface of the eye from the irritating effects of dirt, dust, and other airborne particles
Protects from infection
Helps to create a smooth surface so vision stays clear and undistorted
Keeps eyes lubricated and comfortable

If you have an abnormal or deficient tear film, the quality of your vision may be diminished.

Tears are made up of 3 components: lipid, aqueous and mucins. and they must be in balance to create the moisture that keeps our eyes comfortable. If any is missing or damaged, the tear film is compromised and the eye moisture will be depleted causing the eyes to feel dry and irritated.
Chronic dry eye can occur when the tear glands don’t produce the right quantity/quality of tears to keep the eyes lubricated and protected.

Chronic Dry Eye
Blinking spreads the tear film over the eye. If the tear film is inadequate, dry spots can occur causing discomfort and damage to the corneal cells on the surface of the eye. You may not know that you have damaged corneal cells but your eyes may feel dry with a burning sensation. Your eye care specialist will be able to see the surface damage during an eye exam.

Corneal cells can heal quickly if they are diagnosed early and treated with a dry eye lubricant that protects the cells and allows moisture to remain on the surface longer.

Common Causes of Dry Eye
There are many causes of Dry Eye. These can be attributed to a number of different factors:
Aging: As we grow older, our eyes produce tears that have less natural oil in them.
Menopause: Females entering menopause are among the most prone to dry eye.
Autoimmune Disorders: Diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, thyroid and Sjogren's syndrome can cause inflammation in the tear-producing lacrimal gland.
Environment: Excessive heat or air conditioning, fans, dry or windy climates, smoke, airplanes, and lack of sleep can all cause dry eye.
Work Environment: Outside wind, dust, heat, or smog can cause dry eye. Focusing on a computer screen for extended periods is also a common cause.
Medications: Numerous medications can cause dry eye. Be sure to tell your eye care specialist about all the medications you are taking.
Eye Medications: Preservatives in artificial tears and anti-glaucoma drops may be toxic to the cells on the surface of the eye and contribute to dry eye.
Contact Lens Wear: Wearing contact lenses can contribute to dry eye.
 

Kurata Eyecare Center 200 South San Pedro St. Suite B Los Angeles, CA 90012 Phone: (213) 617-2020 Fax: (213) 617-3184

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