Family Eye Care & Mavor Optical

Doctors Of Optometry

Dr. Craig K. Small     37 Herschel Street,  Caribou, Maine 04736  (207) 496-5111         491 Main Street  Presque Isle, Maine 04769  (207) 764-5111

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Caribou Office: (207) 496-5111       Presque Isle Office: (207) 764-5111

Dry Eye

Dry eye is a condition in which there are insufficient tears to lubricate and nourish the eye.  Tears are necessary for maintaining the health of the front surface of the eye and for providing clear vision.  People with dry eyes either do not produce enough tears or have a poor quality of tears.  Dry eye is a concern and often chronic problem, particularly in older adults.

What causes dry eyes?

  • Age - dry eye is a part of the natural aging process.  The majority of people over age 65 experience some symptoms of dry eye.
  • Gender - women are more likely to develop dry eyes due to hormonal changes caused by pregnancy, the use of oral contraceptives, and menopause.
  • Medications - certain medications, including antihistamines, decongestants, blood pressure medications and antidepressants can reduce the amount of tears produced in the eyes.
  • Medical conditions - persons with rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and thyroid problems are more likely to have symptoms of dry eyes.  Also, problems with inflammation of the eyelid (blepharitis), inflammation of the surfaces of the eye, or the inward or outward turning of eyelids can cause dry eyes to develop.
  • Environmental conditions - exposure to smoke, wind and dry climates can increase tear evaporation resulting in dry eye symptoms.  Failure to blink regularly, such as when staring at a computer screen for long periods of time can also contribute to the drying of the eyes.
  • Other factors - long term use of contact lenses can be a factor in the development of dry eyes.  Refractive eye surgeries, such as LASIK, can cause decreased tear production and dry eyes.

Do I suffer from dry eyes?

Check yourself - the most common dry eyes signs and symptoms include eye fatigue, excessive tearing, and difficulty wearing contacts, increased sensitivity to light, mucous in or on the eyes, as well as an overall feeling of discomfort and dryness of the eyes.  Dry eyes are a common condition that affects millions of Americans. 

If dry eyes are left untreated, it can lead to discomfort, ulcers, damage to the corneal and a possibility of some vision loss. 

If you are suffering from any of the symptoms listed above please contact our office.  The doctors of Family Eye Care & Mavor Optical will develop a treatment plan based on your individual eye health needs.