Understanding Dry Eye Syndrome
Denver Dry Eye Doctors
What is Dry Eye Syndrome?
Dry eye syndrome is a condition that affects millions of people around the world, especially in dryer environments like Colorado. It is more common in women and can worsen with age. Dry eye can range from a mild condition to a debilitating vision-threatening condition.
Dry eye can be associated with autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren’s syndrome. Hormonal changes in a menopausal woman can induce dry eyes. Computer use can worsen symptoms because we all blink much less when we are concentrating on the computer or reading. Other causes of dry eye include contact lenses, allergies, heating, air-conditioning, air pollution, cigarette smoking, Bell’s palsy, infections like ocular shingles and medications.
Symptoms of Dry Eye
- Dry eye sensation
- Foreign body sensation
- Stinging and burning
- Light sensitivity
- Blurred vision
Diagnosis of Dry Eye Syndrome
Slit lamp microscopy and special corneal stains are used to help make the diagnosis. Patient history is very helpful. Sometimes topographical maps provide useful information regarding the cornea, which can help make the diagnosis. Our doctors at Denver Eye Surgeons have all the advanced diagnostic equipment that is necessary to make the diagnosis.
How is Dry Eye Treated?
The most common treatment for dry eyes is artificial teardrops. The frequency of use and the type of teardrop that will be recommended to you depends upon the severity of the dry eyes.
Restasis is the first medication made to increase tear production and reduce inflammation, which results in dry eyes. It is FDA approved. Most patients on Restasis show a significant improvement in the symptoms.
Punctum plugs are often used to treat dry eyes. These plugs are easily placed in clinic in the opening to the lacrimal duct. This blocks the flow of tears into this drainage, which leads to increased tear retention on the surface of the cornea. This is a reversible treatment.
Oral and dietary nutrients such as omega 3 fatty acids from fish and flax seed have been proven to be very helpful in treating dry eyes.
Our doctors at Denver Eye Surgeons have the expertise, knowledge, and experience to help guide you through your best options for treatment for dry eyes. If you think you have dry eyes, please contact us and we will evaluate you in clinic and determine your best course for treatment. We are known as the Denver dry eye specialists.