Tears are essential for good eye health
After a blink, a tear film coats the surface of the eye and performs many functions for your benefit:
- Tears prevent dryness by coating and lubricating the surface of the eye.
- Tears supply oxygen and nutrients to the surface of the cornea.
- Tears form a barrier from infection and irritants washing away foreign substances.
- Tears help to heal damage to the surface of the eye.
- Tears create a smooth surface on the eye to help you to see more clearly.
Healthy tears maintain a stable tear film over the eye between blinks. If the tear film is not thick enough or doesn’t have enough lipid layer (the outer layer that holds the tear together), the tear can break apart and expose the surface of the eye. If this happens regularly, dry eye disease may result.
What causes dry eye?
Dry eye is caused by inflammation on the surface of the eye which can be triggered by a variety of factors such as:
- Dry, dusty or windy climate
- Insufficient blinking (such as when you’re staring at a computer screen)
- Long-term contact lens wear
- Medication side effects
- Eye surgery
Often, dry eye is caused by blocked meibomian glands. These are the glands that make the oily, outer layer of the tears. A blockage in the glands can cause insufficiencies in tear film thickness, causing the tears to break apart when they shouldn’t.
What can be done to treat dry eye?
Low Level Light Therapy (LLLT) was developed by NASA and has proven effective at treating dry eye disease. LLLT uses specially designed LED lights to gently warm up the eyelids, causing the melbomian glands to unclog and release oils.
LLLT is a safe for all ages, comfortable, non-invasive procedure that lasts 15 minutes and needs no recovery time.
For more information or to schedule a low level light therapy session, contact us at (828) 747-9260