What is Dry Eye?
Dry eye affects millions of Americans and is most commonly a result of the natural aging process. As we age, we produce a smaller amount of tears to keep our eyes moist and comfortable. In addition, improper blinking, certain medications, a dry or windy climate, chemical burns, and general health problems such as arthritis can cause dry eyes.
What are the Symptoms?
The symptoms can include a dry, scratchy and uncomfortable sensation. In addition, excessive tearing can be associated with dry eye syndrome. Tearing is a natural reflex caused by the irritated eye.
What is the Treatment?
There is no permanent cure for dry eye; however, there are several treatments that will improve our patients’ symptoms. The most common treatment that we will recommend is the use of artificial tears supplements. These tear supplements are readily available and easy to apply. For more severe cases, we will recommend the use of silicon plugs in the tear drainage canal. These plugs will slow down the tear drainage out of the eye and allow more tears to remain providing natural lubrication.
Punctal occlusion is simple and painless and usually quite successful. Early detection and treatment of dry eye is important to prevent damage to the eye from the formation of scar tissue. If you are experiencing symptoms of dry eye, call our office for an appointment as soon as possible. We will perform a series of tests to determine whether dry eye is the problem.