Almost half of adult Americans experience dry eye symptoms on a regular basis. Because this is such a common problem, we make it a part of your yearly exam to thoroughly look for signs or symptoms of dry eye. If your eyes are dry, we then determine the type of dryness and probable causes, and then treat this chronic, progressive condition appropriately.
Forms of dry eye tests that we utilize are appropriate history, Tear Lab, tear dye testing, and close evaluation of the surface of the eyes and lids. Once we determine the type and cause of dryness, we are able to develop an effective long term treatment plan. Many mistakenly think allergies are the cause of their symptoms.
The most common symptoms of dry eye are:
- Reflex tearing (watery eyes)
- Fluctuating vision (blinking to clear vision)
Dry eye often starts out as lack of moisture to in the eyes, some environmental irritation, and/or an underlying inflammatory/autoimmune condition. The most common contributing factors of dry eye are:
- Environmental: Computer uses, contact lenses, circulating air, dry air, wind
- Hormone changes
- Medication side effects
- Inflammatory/autoimmune conditions
If your eyes are dry or irritated enough they will become inflamed. This causes further irritation to the surface of your eyes and can start a vicious cycle that leads to Dry Eye Disease. Once Dry Eye Disease has set in, 30% of the time it progressively gets worse without appropriate treatment and starts to affect your quality of life.
The most common long term treatments of dry eye are:
- Punctal Occlusion
- Eyelid hygiene
- Single use (one day) contact lenses
- Omega 3 Supplements
- Artificial Tears