Dry Eye is a condition where you have insufficient tear production or the tears that are being produced are not of good enough quality resulting in the surface of the eye not being lubricated. Millions of people are affected by dry eye and as you get older your chances increase. There are a number of environmental and social factors to consider when talking about dry eye. Some of these include older age, women over 40, dry environments, smoking, allergies, prolonged use of computer or screen devices, and prior eye surgery such as LASIK. All of these will greatly increase your chances of acquiring dry eye. When you think of dry eye you may think that you do not have enough tears however some of the other symptoms that can occur are, ironically, episodes of tearing, redness, discharge, and even pain. Patients with dry eye can also experience blurry vision due to the tears laying over the surface of the eyes where the cornea is located, which plays a very important role in our vision.
Dry Eye Syndrome can be treated with a number of treatment options depending on the severity of each individual case. When you come and see me for your yearly comprehensive eye exam, I will ask you a series of questions to determine if they are symptoms related to dry eye. We will begin by looking at the surface of the eye and looking for signs of tear evaporation, looking at the glands that are found in your lids, and looking for areas of staining, inflammation or cell loss. I will recommend different options such as artificial tears, prescription dry eye medications, supplements, lid hygiene and treatment, devices and/or punctal plugs. We recommend patients make some environmental changes such as not sleeping with a fan, taking screen breaks, avoiding windy environments and of course stopping smoking. We encourage our patients to have a well-balanced diet and eat healthy fats, and more importantly to keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Come to see us if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above. We will get you started on an appropriate treatment plan and have you feeling better in no time.