Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Know ABout Chronic Dry Eye
Dry eyes are a common condition in the United States. Most often, people who have dry eyes are middle-aged or older. An estimated 4.88 million Americans age 50 and older have dry eyes. Of these, over 3 million are women and 1.68 million are men.
- night driving problems
- discomfort when wearing contacts
- burning, itching, or stinging sensations
- light sensitivity
- eyes that are watery at times, then completely dry at others
- red and sore eyelids
- mucus secreting from the eye in a string-like texture
What Causes Chronic dry eye?
The causes of dry eye syndrome include:
- hormone replacement therapy
- exposure to the wind or dry air, such as constant exposure to a heater during the winter
- LASIK eye surgery
- some medications, including antihistamines, nasal decongestants, birth control pills, and antidepressants
- long-term contact lens wear
- staring at a computer for long hours
- not blinking enough
- medications for high blood pressure, like beta-blockers or diuretics
- sleeping pills
It Can be also caused by:
- medications to lower anxiety
- herpes zoster
- autoimmune diseases like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and Sjögren’s syndrome
How to Diagnose Chronic dry eye?
- Your doctor will ask about your medical history
- Eye doctor will perform an eye exam to inspect the exterior of your eye, including the eyelids, tear ducts and how you blink
- Will examine your cornea and the interior of your eye
- Will measure the quality of your tear film
How To Treat?
The basic treatments can be divided into 4 major parts:
1. increasing tears
2. maintaining tears
3. triggering tear production
4. healing inflammation
If the condition of dry eyes are mild, it may only need artificial tears. They can be applied as needed less than four times per day.
However, if the eyes don’t change with artificial tears, it may need help keeping tears in your eyes. The tears ducts can be blocked so tears can’t drain.
Prescription eye drops or inserts can stimulate tear production. Increasing intake of omega-3 fatty acids can also help with certain causes of dry eyes.
To reduce inflammation of the eyelids or glands, may have to take an anti-inflammatory drug. Massage, warm compresses, or ointments may also help.