Dry Eye Treatment
Dry Eye (or Ocular Surface Disease) is one of the most common diseases of the eye. Dry Eye is caused by an insufficient amount of tears on the eye, or a poor quality of tears, which leaves the eye without the lubrication and nourishment it needs. It is closely related to several eye conditions such as blepharitis or meibomian gland dysfunction, making the diagnosis and treatments more complicated.
Symptoms of Dry Eye include:
• Burning, stinging sensation.
• Fluctuations in vision with blinks.
• Tired,fatigued eyes.
• Red, irritated-looking eyes.
• Stringy mucous in or around eyes.
• Excess tearing.
• Inability to wear contact lenses
Dry Eye Treatment
The treatment for dry eyes is often more involved than simply using artificial tears due to the severity or associated conditions. Just a few years ago, the main treatment for dry eyes was limited to artificial tears. However, those drops only provide temporary relief. The good news is that research and experience is providing more in-depth treatment of the underlying conditions that cause dry eye symptoms. This provides much better relief for patients suffering from the symptoms of dry eyes. These other treatments include: punctal occlusion, environmental modifications, prescription medication such as Restasis as well as dietary supplementation such as Omaga-3 fish oils.
Do You Think You Have Dry Eyes?
Researchers have developed a questionnaire to help diagnose and quantify the severity of Ocualar Surface Disease (dry eyes). The questionnaire is called the OSDI (Ocular Surface Disease Index) Survey and can be downloaded below. Print and complete the first page of the survey and bring it with you to your exam. The doctor will review the results with you and together you can develop a course of action to get relief.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dry Eye
Can watery eyes be a symptom of dry eye?
Yes. As odd as it sounds, many Dry Eye sufferers experience ‘wet eyes’ due to the tear glands overproducing watery or reflex tears to compensate for a lack of a balanced tear film.
Can dry eye syndrome come and go?
Dry Eye syndrome does not truly come and go, but in the early stages of the condition, or with mild Dry Eye, you may only have symptoms after long days, or with environmental conditions that decrease your blink rate (i.e. computer use) or under conditions that increase evaporation from your tear film (i.e. wind, dry air, etc.).
Some patients may notice discomfort only when they wear their contact lenses. Some people may develop symptoms only when they are dehydrated–just like your mouth becomes dry, your eyes can become dry in this way.