Dry Eye

Dry eye is a syndrome in which the eye is not producing high enough quality fluid to keep hydrated and protected. Many people with dry eye may experience irritation, scratchy or burning eyes, or even blurred vision. In a normal eye, tears are produced to protect, clean, and keep infection out of the eye. Tears are necessary for the health of your eyes and those experiencing dry eye either have an inadequate amount or poor quality of tears. Dry eye can also be associated with conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and thyroid problems.

If you are experiencing dry eye, please seek the consult of a medical professional.

Common Causes of Dry Eye Syndrome

  • Age
  • Medical Conditions – rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, thyroid problems, menopause
  • Environment – air conditioning, smoke, wind, staring at a computer for long lengths of time, dry climate, etc.
  • Certain Medications

 

Treatments

While there are many options to treat Dry Eye Syndrome, patients should first consult a physician and receive a full exam. Dry Eye can be caused by multiple sources, so it is important to first diagnose the source of the issue so that it may be properly treated. During the exam, a doctor will take a patient’s history, examine their eyes, and test the quality of the patient’s tears. The cornea and eyelids will also be examined to determine options for treatment.

Once a proper medical examination has been performed, the doctor will then prescribe a course of treatment. These treatments range from artificial tears (eye drops) to steroids and possibly surgery.

If non-prescription artificial tears are not sufficient to treat your Dry Eye, some common treatments include:

RESTASIS®

When your eyes’ natural ability to make enough quality tears is reduced, they may not have enough tears to lubricate and protect them. Chronic Dry Eye (CDE) is a medical condition that can result from the eyes’ reduced ability to make tears.

Over-the-counter eye drops can help moisten your eyes, but they cannot help increase tear production so they provide only temporary relief.

RESTASIS Ophthalmic Emulsion helps increase tear production in cases where it may be reduced by inflammation and helps you make more of your own real tears.

Punctal Plugs

Treatment for dry eyes involves a simple, non-surgical procedure that provides long-term relief using tiny silicone plugs called Punctal plugs. Punctal plugs have a very high rate of success and can be inserted easily and painlessly by an eye care professional. The plugs are inserted into your tear drainage ducts where they act as a dam. Your tears have no place to go but onto the surface of your eyes!

Punctal plugs are also used for some patients after LASIK surgery since keeping the eyes moist is important during the healing process.

Ask us about diagnosis of your dry eye condition and if Punctal plugs would be your best solution.