Dry eye syndrome is a disease in which the eye lacks a normal, healthy tear layer. The healthy tear film consists of three 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. Many factors can contribute to dry eye syndrome, including increasing age, oral and topical medications, and previous ocular surgery.
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
Ways to Alleviate Symptoms
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. An omega-3 supplement, such as in fish oil, has also been shown to help the inflammation associated with dry eye. Tear conservation procedures, like punctal plugs that 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. We also offer the most advanced treatment for dry eyes, Allergan’s TrueTear™, using Neurostimulation to have your own eyes produce tears. Our eye doctors will work with you to identify the cause of your dry eye and establish the best course of treatment.