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Dry Eye and Dry Eye Syndrome are very common eye problems characterized by an annoying, uncomfortable and sometimes even painful sensation of dryness. Dryness of our eyes is a very common condition effecting young and old alike. Often times dryness of the eyes is first noted as scratchy feeling, red, irritated eyes that water a lot. Often times the watering is so prominent that people are surprised to learn that dryness is the underlying problem. Dry Eye is often at its worse with prolonged reading, out in the wind and cold, upon awakening, and during the dry winter months.
Tears form a protective layer on the front surface of the eye, the Cornea. This tear film serves to keep the eye clear optically, rinses the eye and helps to prevent infections. The normal tears that bathe the eye are produced by glands found in clear covering of the white part of the eye, called the Conjunctiva. These tears are supplemented by oil from glands of the eyelid and mucous from Goblet Cells in the Conjunctiva to make up the complete normal tear film. When the eyes become irritated or when we cry, tears from the Lacrimal Gland flood the eye. Although these tears are effective at rinsing the eye, they are poor in quality, and may make the eye red and more sensitive to irritation. Often this watering triggers a low-grade eyelash or eyelid margin infection, which compounds the Dry Eye problem. This infection, called Blepharitis, breaks down the oil layer of the tears allowing your eyes to dry even more rapidly. Symptoms of Blepharitis include crusting of the lashes, red lid margins, and a burning sensation.
Dry eyes are more common as we grow older. Dry Eye is an especially common problem in post-menopausal women. Other conditions that are associated with dry eyes include Arthritis, Thyroid problems and Acne Rosacea. Drugs and medications including antihistamines and anti-depressants often worsen dryness. Many patients notice extra dryness for several weeks after eye surgery.
Treatment for Dry Eyes and Blepharitis is usually done in stages, with most people responding to a few simple steps.
Use non-preserved Artificial Tears
Four (4) Times Daily
Take Oral Flax Seed Oil Capsules Twice Daily
Clean your eyelashes with a washcloth morning and night
Insert tiny tear drain plugs to help tears remain in your eyes longer
Use non-preserved Artificial Tears Eight (8) Times Daily
Use an ointment at bedtime and run a humidifier in the bedroom
Continue Steps One & Two
Trial of Restasis® Eye Drops Twice Daily
Trial of Oral Doxycycline
Important Note: Patients who are having Laser Eye Surgery (LASIK, PRK) or who have had Laser Eye Surgery within the last 3 months, should ONLY use non-preserved tears that come in individual dropperettes. DO NOT use any bottled tears, even if they say non-preserved. Here at Stahl Vision we start all patients on Step One below before surgery and continue the non-preserved tears and oral Flax Seed Oil capsules for 3 months after surgery.
Stahl Vision Laser & Eye Surgery Center in Dayton Ohio is conveniently located for patients in need of diagnosis and treatment of Dry Eyes and Dry Eye Syndrome from Sidney, Springfield, Urbana, Dayton, Cincinnati, West Chester, Eaton, Xenia, Jamestown, Franklin, Springboro, Waynesville, Lebanon, Mason, Oxford, and Middletown Ohio. Please call Stahl Vision at 937.643.2020 to schedule an appointment for a Dry Eye examination and consultation.