Dry eye syndrome (DES) is a very common problem. It becomes even more prevalent as we age. It is also exacerbated in the cooler months. There are many contributing factors, so treatment requires multiple approaches. We used to believe dry eye was merely a decrease in tear production. We thought that by increasing lubrication alone with artificial tears we were treating the problem. We now know this is not the case. Dry eye is not just a matter of decreased tears, but rather an ocular surface disease. Inflammation of the eyelids is the main culprit. Ocular surface and lid inflammation have an adverse effect on not only the quantity of tears, but the quality of tears as well. Sometimes, the issue is more about poor tear quality than lack of tears. In order to have a healthy tear film, there must be the right amount of lipid, aqueous and mucin for optimal function.
Dry eyes are often the result of a combination of ocular surface inflammation, increased tear evaporation, decreased tear production and increased ocular surface exposure. Additionally, we now know that many autoimmune diseases contribute to dry eyes. Luckily, because we now have a better understanding as to what causes dry eyes, we have effective methods of treating them. It’s important to understand that dry eye syndrome is a chronic condition. It’s not often cured, but rather kept under control with maintenance treatment.
Symptoms of dry eye include ocular redness, foreign body sensation, blurred vision, tearing, grittiness and eye pain. If you suspect you are suffering from dry eyes, call one of our offices today for an evaluation. We are conveniently located in many locations across Long Island. We are open 7 days a week. Call for an appointment today.