Do you suffer from:
- Irritated or scratchy eyes?
- Feeling of a foreign particle in the eye?
- Redness in the eye?
- Excessive watering?
If you do, you are part of the estimated 40-million Americans that suffer from dry eye, and is the leading reason many patients stop wearing contact lenses.
Dry Eye Disease
Many people who think they need glasses—or a change to their existing prescription—actually suffer from Dry Eye Disease, a condition that can cause dryness, itching, scratching, stinging, burning, or a gritty feeling. Dry Eye Disease has many causes but usually occurs when the lacrimal glands (the part of your eyes that produce tears) either don’t produce enough tears, or when the tears evaporate too quickly from the surface of your eyes.
Dry eyes are one of the most commonly under-diagnosed conditions. It is estimated that anywhere from 5 to 30 percent of people suffer from Dry Eye Disease, and the chance of developing it becomes more common as you grow older.
If you’re experiencing eye fatigue, frequently find that a computer or television screen isn’t clear, use artificial tears to get relief, feel like you are blinking continually, or suffer any of the other conditions described above, you may be experiencing symptoms of Dry Eye Disease. You may not actually need glasses. Give us a call to find out if dry eyes are involved.
Treatment of Dry Eye Disease
Dry eyes can be a chronic condition, but Dr. Lyons can prescribe treatment to keep your eyes healthy, more comfortable, and prevent your vision from being affected. The primary approaches used to manage and treat dry eyes include adding tears, conserving tears, increasing tear production, and treating the inflammation of the eyelids or eye surface that contributes to the dry eyes.
- Adding tears—Mild cases of dry eyes can often be managed using over-the-counter artificial tear solutions. These can be used as often as needed to supplement natural tear production. Preservative-free artificial tear solutions are recommended because they contain fewer additives that could further irritate the eyes. However, some people may have persistent dry eyes that don’t respond to artificial tears alone. Additional steps need to be taken to treat their dry eyes.
- Conserving tears—An additional approach to reducing the symptoms of dry eyes is to keep natural tears in the eyes longer. This can be done by blocking the tear ducts through which the tears normally drain. The tear ducts can be blocked with tiny silicone or gel-like plugs that can be removed, if needed. A surgical procedure to permanently close tear ducts can also be used. In either case, the goal is to keep the available tears in the eye longer to reduce problems related to dry eyes.
- Increasing tear production—Prescription eye drops that help to increase production of tears can be prescribed. The only commercially available drop that stimulates tear production is Restasis. You can find out more about Restasis at www.Restasis.com.
Additionally, omega-3 fatty acid nutritional supplements have been clinically shown to be effective in the production of better tears. Dr. Lyons recommends the use of EZ Tears by EyePromise because of their 30-day Rapid Dry Eye Relief Guarantee.
- Treatment of the contributing eyelid or ocular surface inflammation—Prescription eye drops or ointments, warm compresses and lid massage, or eyelid cleaners may be recommended to help decrease inflammation around the surface of the eyes.