Dry Eye Syndrome
Patients complaining of dry eye syndrome is one of the leading conditions Optometrist treat today. Did you know that over 30 million people in America alone suffer from dry eye syndrome? The most common problem for dry eyes is caused by a problem with the quality of the tear film that lubricates one’s eyes. Here in Fairfax and Rockville we are in the epicenter of Dry eye problems.
Dry eye is a multifactorial disease that is treated with a variety of therapies. Most people can be treated simply with eye drops such as Retaine MGD, Retaine CMC or Retaine HPMC because they have the evaporative form of the disease. Other patients might need tear duct plugs. Some patients have impacted glands around the eyelids and would benefit by eyelid scrubs. Women especially are at risk. Its important they remove their makeup with an oil free product like Zoria. Some other therapies include high quality Omega 3's like Retaine Flax which soften the oils so they coat the eye better.
Tears are created in several glands around the eyes the tears are produced in the lacrimal gland which is located under the upper eyelid. You have other smaller glands in the eyelids that make mucus and oil layers. Every time you blink the eyelid coats the eye with tears lubricating the eye, keeping it moist and excess tears flow into tiny drainage ducts in the corner of the eye close to your nose. The ducts close to the nose are connected to you nasal passages. This connection between your tear ducts and your nasal passages is the reason you get a runny nose whenever you cry.
There are many causes of dry eye syndrome, the most common reasons for dry eyes is the normal aging process. When we age our bodies produce fewer oils. Many people notice this in the skin as you get older your skin is has fewer oils to keep it soft. This is noticed more in women who tend to have much drier skin than men. It’s this oil deficiency that also affects the tear film, when there isn’t much oil the tear film that covers the eye evaporates much faster which generates dry areas on the cornea. Other factors of dry eye syndrome can be contributed to dry hot climates, living at higher altitudes, cigarette smoke and air conditioning. Many people experience dry eyes when they read or when looking at computer monitors. It is important to stop and rest your eyes by blinking the eyes to lubricate the eyes.
Many contact lens wearers suffer dry eyes because the contact lens absorbs the tear film. It is important to lubricate your eyes when wearing contact lenses. Some women have problems with dry eyes as they enter menopause because of hormonal changes. Many medications, thyroid conditions, and some people with vitamin A deficiencies can experience dry eyes. Typical Symptoms of Dry Eyes:
- Blurred vision
- Discomfort after reading, working on the computer and watching television
Many times simple changes in your lifestyles can have significant improvements. Quitting smoking or simply drinking more water can help improve the irritation that comes with dry eyes. Excessive rubbing of the eyes can worsen irritation. When reading, working on the computer or watching television try to make a conscious effort to blink more frequently. This will help keep the eye more lubricated and wet, which in return will help keep your eyes more comfortable.
If you suffer from dry eye syndrome, it is important to see an experienced Optometrist. Your doctor will determine the cause of your dry eye issues by measuring your production and the evaporation rate of your tear film. Everyone’s eyes are different and treating dry eyes is different depending on the cause. Many times patients find simple relief from simply using artificial tear drops. There are several different types of artificial tears some are watery and only relieve the symptoms for short periods of time. Others are thicker and last longer on the eye. Normally preservative free tears are optimal as they feel more soothing and have fewer additives that could cause irritation in the eye.
Dr. Howard Budner & Dr. Kevin Chan treat patients with dry eye syndrome in Fairfax, Rockville, Potomac, Olney, Aspen Hill, Falls Church, Oakton, Mclean and Vienna . Contact our office to schedule a consultation today.