Dry Eye

Dry eye syndrome

Dry eye is very common in older individuals and contact lens wearer.  It usually results decreased in quantity and quality of the tear film in the front surface of the eye.  There are many causes of dry eyes.  It could be as simple as contact lens related, age related lipid deficiency, irregularities in the ocular surface and blink mechanism.  It can also be related to serious systemic autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren’s syndrome.  Side effects of many systemic drugs are related to dry eye, such as oral antihistamines, anti-anxiety meds, and oral contraceptives. Typical usual symptoms are dryness, tearing, and burning eyes with or without sandy or gritty foreign body sensations, which can get worse later in the day.  Symptoms are exacerbated in dry, cold weather with low humidity, and dusty environment.  Dry eye is treated by instilling an ophthalmic lubricant, artificial tears, gels and creams.   In recalcitrant and severe cases, punctual occlusions, steroid drops, and restasis therapy may be needed.

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