DRY EYE SYNDROME is a chronic (long-term) condition resulting from a lack of tears or poor tear quality. You might experience symptoms of dryness, burning, itching, or feeling as though you have sand in your eyes. Dry eyes can sometimes water profusely due to what is known as reflex tearing as the tear glands try to wash out the eyes. However, these “reflex tears” do not relieve the symptoms for long. Moist environments decrease these symptoms; while dry, dusty, or windy environments increase these symptoms. Activities such as driving, watching T.V. or reading tend to increase these symptoms because one doesn’t blink as often while concentrating. Anything that irritates the eyes such as allergies, infections, or chemicals also increases these symptoms.
The goal of dry eye treatment is to keep the eyes wet enough to relieve the symptoms. This involves avoiding wind and drafts or wearing glasses while in such environments. Using artificial teardrops is the initial method of treatment. Sometimes, artificial tears must be used as often as every 30 minutes. Occasionally, lubricating ointment, or taping the eyelids shut while sleeping is necessary. Vitamin supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids should definitely be considered. Frequently, individuals need their tear drainage ducts plugged so that the tears do not drain out of the eyes too rapidly. This is a painless procedure that can provide considerable relief in many cases. You should first use lubricating drops for a couple weeks and then return to our office if your symptoms do not subside.
This is a partial list of the many artificial tears on the market today:
Genteal®, Refresh Plus®, Systane®, Freashcoat®, and Ocucote®.
Use one of these artificial tears every 2 to 4 hours for the first few days and then decrease or increase frequency of usage according to the severity of your symptoms. Please feel free to call or email office if you have any questions or problems.
Often, Dr. Yeager will prescribe special drops like Restasis ®. Click play below for more information on restasis.
Click for more information about Starting Restasis