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Dry Eye Syndrome

Do you sometimes feel dryness in your eyes? Does it feel like you have a stinging sensation, or feel scratchy? Maybe you are suffering from dry eye syndrome. This problem generally occurs when the tear glands doesn’t produce the required quantity or quality of tears. This syndrome is due to chronic lack of moisture in the eye. This may weaken vision and can even lead to eye infections if not cured.

Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry Eye Syndrome

Tears play the role of a protective layer and keep the eyes moist and clean. It provides them with essential nutrients, and washing away dust and other particles. If right quality of tears are not produces than it may result in this syndrome. It has some other names like keratitis sicca, keratoconjunctivitis sicca, xerophthalmia.

At ICare Doctors of Optometry, we can help you in detecting dry eye syndrome or other eye diseases through comprehensive eye exams. We also recommend keep routine eye exams to detect the eyes disease before the things getting worse.

Symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome

As you may guess from the name, this syndrome makes the eyes feel dry, scratchy, and gritty. The symptoms may differ from one person to another. Some common symptoms for the dry eye syndrome are as follow:

  • Dry eyes
  • Stinging or burning eyes
  • Itching
  • Pain
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Redness
  • Blurry vision
  • A feeling that there is a speck of dirt in the eyes
  • A stringy discharge from the eyes
  • Foreign body sensation
  • Excessive tearing
  • Increased discomfort after watching television or reading.

Causes of Dry Eye Syndrome

Some common causes of dry eye syndrome include the following:

  • AgingIn the older age this issue is very common as tear production is decreases.
  • Hormonal changes- Dry eye affects more women than men because hormonal changes (such as those that occur in pregnancy, menstruation and menopause) can decrease tear production.
  • Contact lenses– Regular use of contact lens also cause dry eyes. All the tears in the eyes are absorbed by the soft contact lenses, which float on the tear film that covers the cornea.
  • Medications– Many medications such as antihistamines, antidepressants, birth control pills, nasal decongestants and prescription acne drug Accutane decrease tear production
  • Medical conditions– Systemic diseases, such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren’s syndrome, may lead to dry eyes.
  • Not Blinking Enough – Not blinking enough during activities such as watching TV and computer use may also result in dry eyes. Each time you blink, it coats the eye with tears. We normally blink about every 12 seconds. As per the studies, the people who played computer games blinked their eyes just once or twice in three minutes.

Treatment of Dry Eye Syndrome:

The most common treatments for dry eye syndrome include:

  • Eye drops– Eye drops lubricate the eye, relieving many of the symptoms of dry eyes. Eye drops may be prescribed by your doctor if needed.
  • Fish Oil – Omega-3 fatty acid nutritional supplements are also recommended for people with dry eyes.
  • Punctal plugs – Your eye doctor can insert silicone plugs into the tear ducts, preventing tears from draining out. This allows tears to lubricate the surface longer.
  • Restasis – For chronic dry eyes Restasis (cyclosporine ophthalmic emulsion) is the only prescription product. This drug helps to increase the tear production which may be decreased due to inflammation on the eye surface, as approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2002.
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