Do I Have Dry Eye Syndrome?
“Dry eye” might seem like an inconsequential condition that can be easily treated with the use of eye drops. However, for the thousands of people who suffer from chronic dry eye syndrome, it is a persistent, irritating condition at best and a symptom of an overarching systemic disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, ocular rosacea or Sjögren’s Syndrome, at worst. The team at Yaldo Eye Center explores the possible causes of dry eye syndrome and what you can do to treat it.
Possible Causes of Dry Eye
In an individual with dry eye syndrome, the eye’s moisture-producing glands do not function properly. Either the lacrimal glands are not producing enough tears to begin with, or the meibomian glands are reducing oil output, which causes tears to evaporate. The latter condition is known as “evaporative” dry eye and has been shown to be the leading cause of or a primary contributing factor to most dry eye cases. Yaldo Eye center has recently acquired the a new treatment modality to treat this specific form of Dry Eyes, which consists of Probes placed on the lids of the eyes that help heat up and message the oil glands to produce more oil for the natural tears. Its a 30 minute treatment that when repeated 2 or 3 times, works very effectively at reducing dry eyes.
Other possible causes of dry eye include the natural aging process (especially for women going through menopause); certain medications such as antihistamines; a dusty, dry or windy climate; an air conditioning or heating system; insufficient blinking (in particular when working long hours in front of an electronic monitor, such as a computer screen); a health condition, such as the ones listed above; long-term contact lens wear; or an incomplete closing of the eyelids. In patients seeing LASIK surgery, the most common cause of dry eyes is the chronic wear and over-wear of contact lenses. In these cases, discontinuation of the contact lenses and treatment with drops eliminates the dry eyes in the majority of cases.
Certain individuals are at an increased risk of experiencing dry eye. These individuals include women (possibly due to fluctuations in hormones), older men and smokers.
Dry Eye Treatment Options
Depending on the cause of your dry eye, your eye doctor may prescribe lubricating eye drops, also called artificial tears, to help relieve the dry, itching sensation.
If blocked meibomian glands are causing your dry eye, a suitable treatment option might be LipiFlow treatment, an in-office procedures designed to unblock the meibomian glands to restore normal eye function. This treatment is the latest technology to treat Dry eyes, and just recently became available at Yaldo Eye Center.
There are several other potential treatment options, including making sure you are well hydrated, wearing sunglasses in dusty and windy climates or taking nutritional supplements including omega-3 fatty acids to help relieve dry eye.
If you think you might have dry eye syndrome, your best bet is to schedule an appointment with an ophthalmologist at Yaldo Eye Center, so he or she can assess the health of your eyes and recommend an appropriate treatment option.