Hi, this is Dr. Matheson Harris with Utah Oculoplastic Consultants in Salt Lake City, Utah. Dry eye is the most common problem we see in our office. It becomes even more common as we age. As we get older, we make less tears and our eyelids don’t do as great job of protecting our eyes. Dry eyes can feel scratchy or sandy, cause excessive tearing make our vision blurry, and also cause sensitivity to light. Our tears are made up of three things: water, mucus and oil. The water comes from glands inside of our eyelids. The mucus is made from the pink tissues lining the inside of our eyelids. The oil comes from small glands along the margins of our eyelids next to the eyelashes. Each of these components must be in perfect balance in order for our tears to adequately lubricate our eyes. If any one of them is missing or is not there in sufficient amount, we develop dry eyes. There are many things you can do for dry eyes. The first line therapy is to replace missing tears with artificial tears. These need to be given often as tears are constantly evaporating or draining away. Avoiding situations that cause more rapid evaporation will also help, like not sleeping under a ceiling fan or letting the air conditioner blow in your face while driving If the oil layer is the problem you can encourage oil release from the glands by using hot compresses on your eyelids a few times a day as well as cleaning well along the eyelash margins with a mild soap such as baby shampoo. Taking fish oil tablets has been shown to improve the oily layer as well. When these treatments aren’t enough, we next turn to blocking our tear drains so that the tears you produce don’t go away so fast This is done by placing tiny silicone plugs in the drainage tubes inside your eyelids. These plugs are semi-permanent and can be taken out at any time. In severe dry eyes, we actually cauterize the tears drains. Other treatments include wearing moisture retaining glasses or goggles and using thicker tear ointments If the eyes are dry because the eyelids are not properly closing or protecting the eyes, surgery may be necessary to reposition the eyelids against the eyeballs. Call our office today for a consultation regarding dry eyes. Thank you for choosing Utah Oculoplastic Consultants. We look forward to helping you feel and look your best.