What is Dry Eye?
Dry eye is an inflammatory condition of the ocular surface. Dry eye is very common and can result from either not enough tear production or poor quality tears.
Inadequate production may be due to certain medications like allergy or cold medications. Environmental conditions can cause tears to evaporate quickly.
Procedures like Lasik surgery or other corneal surgeries can lead to long-term reductions in tear production.
Lastly, age, gender, and systemic medical conditions may result in the lack of tears.
Poor quality tears is due to an imbalance in the layers of the tear film. In a majority a patients, the oil layer is inadequate due to dysfunction of the Meiombian glands around the base of the eyelashes.
Patients with Rosacea, spend a lot of time outdoors or who wear makeup along their eyelid margins may be at an increased risk for dry eye problems.
Symptoms of Dry Eye
While dry eye can present in many ways, the most common symptoms include red eyes, sandy, gritty, and burning eyes. Sometimes, eyes may itch and even water. Symptoms are most common in the morning or after hours of computer work. Systems can be exacerbated with the seasons, environment or with certain medications.
Dry Eye Treatments
There are many treatments depending on the root cause of the dry eye. For most patients, a steroid, punctual plugs and a prescription medication like Xiidra can be part of a long-term solution.
Lifestyle changes like reducing fan usage, drinking more water, and nutraceuticals may improve eye health condition. Other patients may require a switch in contact lens modality to either a daily lens or a scleral contact lens.
Temporary fixes such as Visine, Cleareyes or Lumify should not be used long-term. They do not improve the condition of the eye, but temporarily mask the underlying eye problem. A red eye is an unhealthy eye.
Dr Dryer will evaluate your eyes and customize a treatment plan based on your specific needs.