Problematic dry eyes are one of the most common problems reported to eye doctors. Dry eyes result from either a decrease in the amount of tear production, or the quality or composition of the tears produced. There are many common causes of dry eye syndrome including advancing age, allergies, poor diet, heating/cooling environmental circumstances, normal hormonal changes, health status such as diabetes, arthritis, lupus, thyroid dysfunction, chemotherapy, radiation, acne rosacea, contact lens use, computer use and patients that have a history of LASIK surgery. In addition, certain medications can contribute to dry eye symptoms such as antidepressants, antihistamines, decongestants, acne treatments, diuretics and some blood pressure medications.
Common symptoms of dry eyes may include blurred or variable vision, sensitivity to light, dryness, burning, stinging, gritty or foreign body sensations. Occasionally, the dry eye patient may experience a paradoxical excess or “reflex” tearing caused by the underlying eye surface irritation.
Treatment of this condition may include artificial tears, gels and/or lubricating ointments at bedtime, daily eyelid hygiene scrubs, a prescribed medication regimes such as mild ocular steroids and tear enhancement medications like Restasis,nutritional supplements such as Omega-3 essential fatty acid and flaxseed oil, and punctal (tear drainage) occlusion of the eyelid to retain moisture.
As you can see, the causes and possible treatment options are complex. An individual treatment plan will be formulated for you based on severity and known causes. Please follow carefully my recommendations for testing and follow-up care, as well as, my outlined treatment plan.