What is Dry Eye?
Dry Eye is one of the most common findings in patients. Dry eyes can be a debilitating problem, causing pain, burning, itching, tearing, foreign body sensation and a decrease in vision. The eyes may become dry and irritated because the tear glands don’t produce enough tears or because the tears produced have a chemical imbalance and are of the wrong type. People usually experience dry eye symptoms as they age, but certain medications or conditions can also cause this condition.
Non-surgical treatments for dry eye include increasing humidity at home or work, directing the air conditioning vent away from your face in the car, using artificial tears, gel or lubricating ointment. Treatment can also include omega 3 fatty acid supplements or prescription eye drops to increase more normal tear production. If these methods fail, small punctal plugs may be inserted at the corner of the eyes to limit tear drainage. Eyelid surgery is also a solution if an eyelid condition is causing the dry eyes.
With new treatments and contact lens materials, even contact lens wearers can find relief from dry eyes!