Dry Eye Syndrome is a disease in which the eye lacks a normal, healthy tear layer. The healthy tear film consists of 3 components: water, lipid or oil, and mucus. A normal tear film is vital to good vision and seeing clearly. Dry eye can be due to a decrease in tear production, or increase in tear evaporation or loss. Common symptoms include:
- Stinging, burning
- Red eyes
- Gritty or sandy sensation, scratchiness
- Mucous or discharge (typically clear)
- Watering or tearing especially during reading, computer work, or driving
- Difficulty or discomfort with wearing contact lenses
Many factors can contribute to dry eye syndrome, including increasing age, oral and topical medications, and previous ocular surgery.
Although Dry Eye Syndrome is a chronic condition, there are treatments to alleviate the symptoms. Use of Artificial Tears is typically the first line of treatment. Omega-3 supplement such as in fish oil have also been shown to help the inflammation associated with dry eye. Tear conservation procedures such as punctal plugs which block the tear drainage opening in the eyelid, can be easily performed in the office. Topical cyclosporine (Restasis®) is a drop taken twice daily to increase tear production and is effective for many patients. Our doctors will work with you to identify the cause of your dry eye and establish the best course of treatment.