Dry eye syndrome is a common eye condition marked by an insufficient flow of tears. It typically affects both eyes and can cause serious discomfort manifesting in a stinging, itching or burning sensation.
The eye relies on tears to maintain a healthy environment. Tears are secreted from glands around the eyes called Meibomian glands. These glands produce a healthy tear film that lubricates the eyes via oils, moisture and mucous that help to spread the tear layer evenly across the front of the eye. (Blinking also helps to maintain an even tear film.) The tear layer even helps to fight infection thanks to its antibodies and proteins. A smooth tear film also creates an efficient optical surface on the cornea providing for better visual clarity.
SYMPTOMS OF DRY EYES
Typical symptoms of dry eye syndrome include:
Stinging or burning eyes
Stringy mucus in or around the eyes
Irritation from smoke or wind
Difficulty wearing contact lenses
POSSIBLE CAUSES OF DRY EYES
There are many causes of dry eye syndrome. Listed below are some of the most common:
Natural lessening of tear production as you age
Prescription and over-the-counter medications that interfere with tear secretion
TREATMENT OF DRY EYES
Several treatment options can ease the symptoms of dry eye syndrome. Some of the most common treatments include:
Artificial tears (available in over-the-counter)
Omega 3 Fatty Acid Oils (a dietary supplement)
Restasis (a prescription medication drop)
Punctal Plugs (silicone plugs that reduce the natural drainage of tears out of the eye)
HELP FOR DRY EYES
You’ve heard the expression “not a dry eye in the house”—but for 77 million Indian that statement couldn’t be farther from the truth. ‘Dry eye syndrome’ is one of the most common eye conditions in India, particularly in women over the age of 35. The cause of dry eye syndrome is unknown, but the condition becomes more common as we age.
In healthy eyes, a thin layer of tears coats the outside surface of the eye and keeps it moist. Dry eye syndrome occurs when the eye doesn’t make enough tears, produces ineffective tears, or when the tears evaporate too quickly. This can lead to dryness, stickiness, and stinging or burning of the eyes. Sometimes the eyes water excessively in an effort to soothe the irritation, but these reflex tears are usually not enough to fix the problem.
Dry eye syndrome affects women two to three times more often than men—a statistic thought to be attributable to hormones. Male testosterone seems to be good for the tear glands, while estrogen in women has the opposite effect. In fact, in a recent study, women who were on hormone replacement therapy after menopause had up to a 70% higher risk for developing dry eyes than women not using hormone replacement therapy.
If you experience dry eye conditions, don’t delay in speaking with your doctor. Dry eye syndrome is more than a nuisance—left untreated, severe cases can lead to inflammation, infection, and scarring of the eye surface that can result in permanent sight loss.
Today, there are many treatment options to help those who sufferer from Dry Eye.
Often, small adjustments to your daily habits—such as smoking cessation or aiming heating and air-conditioning ducts away from your face—can lead to improvement.
Diets high in the omega-3 fatty acids found fish, nuts, or supplements can also reduce dry eye symptoms.
For others, tear replacement drops can help re-establish moisture to the eye or small plugs placed in the tear ducts can prevent tears from draining away too quickly. In addition, a new prescription medication called cyclosporin—marketed under the brand name Restasis®—is now available to help your tear glands produce more of your own natural tears.
To learn more about Dry Eye Disease and your treatment options call us at 6307204509 to schedule a dry eye evaluation with one of our providers, who can help develop a treatment plan that’s right for you.