What are Dry Eyes?
Dry eyes are a significant cause of eye irritation in adults. Dry eyes occur when your eyes do not make enough or the right type of tears or tear film. Symptoms include blurry vision, irritation, foreign body sensation, mucous discharge, burning, and eye fatigue.
What causes dry eye?
The causes of dry eye are often related to age, as well as medical conditions such as pregnancy, menopause, rheumatoid arthritis, rosacea, Sjogren’s disease, Bell’s palsy, and vitamin A deficiency. Patients may have low tear production, poor quality of tear production or oil gland/meibomian gland deficiency. Environmental factors including smoke, allergens, dust, and dry conditions may contribute to dryness.
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What is the treatment of dry eyes?
The treatment goal is to keep the surface of the eye lubricated with artificial tears and ointment. Other treatments include the use of oral supplements such as omega-3 oils, fish oil or flax seed oil. Other environmental aids include avoiding ceiling fans, air conditioner or heat vents, and wearing glasses or sunglasses. If this is not sufficient, patients may require additional medications that improve the quality of tear production and reduce inflammation such as Restates or Xiidra. Often, plugging of the lacrimal puncta, or permanent closure of the lacrimal ducts. There are in-office or laser procedures performed by a dry eye specialist that may also help in restoring your tear film and improve dry eye symptoms. Dr. Amato often works closely with your eye doctor to ensure that the patient receives optimal dry eye care, especially when considering eyelid surgery. Conservative eyelid surgery may be necessary for the severe dry eye patient.
For more information, see www.aaa.org.
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