Dry Eye Disease

DRY EYE CARE

Most people experience the occasional grittiness of dry eyes, usually while in windy conditions or during a prolonged period of reading or computer work. We squint, we blink rapidly, our eyes flood with lubricating tears and the discomfort is gone. Our Ophthalmologists know that for many people who suffer from undiagnosed Dry Eye, relief from that scratchy irritation never comes.

What is Dry Eye?

Dry eye occurs when there is a problem with the tear film that cleanses our eyes and protects the corneas from abrasions and infections. In most cases, either our eyes do not produce enough tears to do the job, or there are sufficient tears but they are of an inadequate quality to successfully maintain a healthy tear film. Weather and other environmental factors can also have a drying effect on the eyes. Once your Ophthalmologist determines the cause of your dry eye, the condition can be successfully treated.

Causes of Dry Eye

  • A number of other factors can affect tear production, including:
  • Medications we take- Antihistamines and hypertension drugs can lead to dry eye
  • Medical conditions- Diabetes, thyroid disorders and MS can affect tear production
  • Work Environment- Wind, dry or smoky air and overhead fans make for tired, dry eyes

Symptoms and Signs of Dry Eye

Part of the comprehensive eye examination your Ophthalmologist will perform is asking pertinent questions regarding your overall health; he will also inquire about your work environment and about any symptoms you may be experiencing. Dry Eye symptoms can include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Eye Fatigue/tired eyes
  • Burning/itching sensation
  • Gritty or scratchy feeling
  • Watery eyes
  • Redness
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Discomfort wearing contact lenses

How Our Ophthalmologist Treats Dry Eye

Once your Ophthalmologist determines the cause of your dry eye, he will work with you to tailor a personalized treatment plan to correct it. The goal is to relieve your discomfort and improve your tears, which in turn protects your eyesight. Treatment options may include:

  • Medicated eye drops- to lubricate and/or increase tear production or quality
  • Antibiotics - to treat any low-grade infection
  • At home therapies - such as warm compresses and increased room humidity
  • Other in-office treatments to address underlying problems, which may contribute to your dry eye
  • Recommended lifestyle changes, which can include:
  • Eyewear to protect against environmental irritants
  • Adjusting computer setting/ height to cut glare and reduce eyestrain
  • Improved workplace lighting