ANSWER: Dry eyes happen when your eyes do not make enough tears or when those tears are poor quality. Treatment of dry eyes often includes medication, eye drops or ointment. But new treatments for a certain type of dry eyes may provide relief when standard treatments fail.
To keep your vision clear and your eyes comfortable, you need a smooth layer of tears consistently covering the surface of your eyes. The tear film has three basic components: oil, water and mucus. Problems with any of these can cause dry eyes.
Symptoms of dry eyes often include blurry vision, eye redness, sensitivity to light, and a burning, gritty or scratchy feeling in your eyes. Dry eyes may cause excessive tearing in some cases. They can make it difficult to wear contact lenses, too. Medications, age, eyelid problems, environmental factors (such as climate) and excessive eye strain can all result in dry eyes.
For some people with chronic dry eyes, the problem stems from glands in the eyelids, called the meibomian glands. Normally, these glands make oil that slows the evaporation of tears. If the glands become blocked, tears do not contain enough oil. Then the tears evaporate too quickly, and eyes become dry. This type of dry eye condition is known as evaporative dry eye. Inflammation of the eyelid skin — a disorder called ocular rosacea — can often result in blocked meibomian glands. [...]
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I am 53 and have never had trouble with my eyesight, but my mother has glaucoma, which I know increases my risk of getting it. Is there anything I can do to prevent glaucoma? How often should I have an eye exam?
ANSWER: You are correct that a family history of glaucoma raises the risk of developing this serious eye disease. It is currently not clear if lifestyle changes can decrease your risk of glaucoma, so it is crucial that you get eye exams on a regular basis. A comprehensive eye exam can help detect glaucoma in its early stages when it is most successfully treated.
Glaucoma is a disorder that damages the optic nerve. In its advanced stages, it can impair vision and eventually lead to blindness. In most cases of glaucoma, the optic nerve is damaged by a rise in pressure within the eye due to a buildup of the fluid that flows in and out of the eye.
THIS WEEK'S TOP STORIES
Recipe makeovers: 5 ways to create healthy recipes
Use these handy techniques to reduce the fat, calories and salt in your favorite recipes.
Sleep tips: 7 steps to better sleep
Better sleep can be yours! Consider these sleep tips, such as making a sleep schedule and getting some exercise every day, if you're weary.
Cigar smoking: Safer than cigarette smoking?
Like cigarettes, cigars contain nicotine, tobacco and cancer-causing chemicals.
Zumba: What are the benefits?
Zumba, a dance-based workout, can add variety to your exercise routine.
HEALTH TIP OF THE WEEK
Snoring solution: Sleep on your side
Sleep on your side to help prevent snoring. Lying on your back allows your tongue to fall backward into your throat, which narrows your airway and partially obstructs airflow. To stay off your back, try sleeping in a tight-fitting T-shirt with a tennis ball sewn or attached to the back. This uncomfortable trick will remind you to roll over. Or raise up the head of your bed by about four inches.
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The eyes have it! March is Save Your Vision month and we hope you can join us Saturday, March 1, at 9 a.m. CT, when the topic is eyesight. Ophthalmologists Sophie Bakri, M.D.; and Michael Mahr, M.D. will be with us to discuss macular degeneration, glaucoma and cataracts, in addition to workplace eye safety.
Myth or Matter of Fact: Only patients with a family history can develop glaucoma.
To listen to the program LIVE, click here.
Listen to this week’s Medical News Headlines: News Segment March 1, 2014 (right click MP3)
Critically ill patients are benefiting from a new program designed to improve care and shorten hospital stays. The Mayo Clinic Enhanced Critical Care program offers 24/7 remote monitoring of the sickest patients at six Mayo Clinic Health System hospitals.
Critical care specialist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester and program medical director Sean Caples, D.O., says, “This is a more proactive way to take care of patients. The way we’re delivering care is changing, but our end goal remains the same: providing the best care possible to patients. We’re taking advantage of new technology to help us do that.” Pulmonologist and director of the critical care unit in Eau Claire Dany Abou Abdallah, M.D., says, “It’s like having an extra set of eyes on every patient. With this program, operations center nurses and physicians continuously review patients’ vital signs and other data. The minute they notice a potential problem, they can alert the local care team.”
Click here for news release
Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Caples and Dr. Abdallah are available in the downloads. B-roll of the monitoring equipment is also available in the downloads
Optometrist Bert Moritz, D.O., of the Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, Wis., explains that six extraocular muscles firmly hold the eye in the socket, making it almost impossible for eyeball subluxing (what a relief!). And though it may feel as if pressure builds in your entire face before you sneeze, it doesn’t increase in your eyes. So why then do we clamp our eyes shut when we sneeze?
“This is an involuntary reflex,” explains Moritz. “When our brain sends this muscle message, one part of the message is to close our eyes. It’s similar to a deep tendon reflex.”
Read more in this article from NBCNews.com "The Body Odd"