Dry Eye Syndrome: Fix Your Dry, Irritated, Itchy Eyes Today.
Dry eye disease (DED), is a condition that affects millions of people. It is often a normal part of the aging process and becomes quite common as we get older. Other causes include exposure to environmental irritants; medications; injuries to the eye; and, certain health conditions, such as diabetes, thyroid deficiencies, autoimmune disorders (i.e., Sjogren’s Syndrome, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus or HIV), Bell’s Palsy and Myasthenia Gravis.
Dry eye disease is literally the eye’s inability to produce an adequate amount of tears or the inability to produce a good quality tear. Strangely enough, some people who have dry eye syndrome actually tear excessively because the quality of the tear is not sufficient to stay on the front surface of the eyes.
The use of certain medications can also alter the eye’s ability to remain well lubricated. Some of the most common medications are:
- Blood pressure medications
- Anti-anxiety medications
Dry Eye Symptoms
Dry eye symptoms can vary from person to person. It is common for many of us to experience dry eye symptoms, but those with dry eye disease are likely to have a more severe degree of these symptoms, including:
- Blurry vision
- Excessive watering
- Eye fatigue
- Sensitivity to Light
Dry Eye Treatment
Your regular eye doctor may have prescribed one or more of the following treatments for your dry eye symptoms:
- Artificial tears
- Long-lasting lubricating gels
- Ointments at bedtime
- Temporary or permanent plugging of the tear ducts (“puntum”)
- Change in medications that can cause dry eye
- Prescription medication for chronic, moderate to severe dry eye (e.g., Restasis, Xiidra, Cequa)
If you have tried these treatments but are still experiencing Dry Eye Disease symptoms, like burning or gritty sensations, schedule an appointment for a dry eye evaluation at Woolfson Eye Institute.
Causes of Dry Eye
- Evaporative Dry Eye is caused by a condition known as Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD). MGD refers the glands that produce the oily outer layer of the tears not functioning optimally, therefore tears evaporate too quickly and causes blurred vision and other symptoms of dry eyes. This is the leading cause of dry eye disease.
- Aqueous Deficient Dry Eye is due to the tear gland not producing an adequate amount of tears to keep the surface of the eye healthy and comfortable.
- Mixed Mechanism Dry Eye as the name says is a combination of both aqueous deficient and evaporative mechanisms.
How We Can Help
Most dry eye conditions can be treated effectively by your primary eye care provider. If MGD is one of the causes of your symptoms, you might be a good candidate for referral to Woolfson Eye Institute for treatment via an in-office procedure called LipiFlow. Lipiflow helps restore the oil glands to function more normal. Click here to learn more about MGD and how we can help.
Dry Eye Self Test