Dry Eye Definition
What Causes Dry Eye?
The following factors can cause or worsen Dry Eye Syndrome and/or Meibomitis:
- Reading or spending time on the computer
- Hormonal changes like menopause
- Medications such as antihistamines, decongestants and antidepressants
- Certain eye surgeries such as cataract or refractive surgery
- Environmental conditions such as wind or dry climates
- Various medical conditions such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, or thyroid problems
- Poor eyelid function
- Nutritional deficiencies
The Most Common Symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome and Meibomitis are:
- Fluctuating vision
- Excessive tearing
- Tired eyes
- Blurred vision
Types of Dry Eye: All Dry Eye is NOT the Same
Dry Eye Treatment
There are several treatments available. These range from simple lifestyle modification, artificial tears, to prescription medications depending on the severity of the condition. Artificial tears, which lubricate the eye, are commonly used to treat dry eye. Additional environmental precautions that help with dry eye include:
- Avoiding outside windy and dry conditions
- Using room humidifiers
- Wearing wrap-around glasses when outside
- Avoiding cigarette smoke
Punctal Occlusion has been used successfully for years in the treatment of DES. It is performed by placing small plugs in the tear drains in the eyelid. There are 4 drains total, one in each eyelid. This helps by preventing the tears from draining into the nose and thus keeping them on the eye.
In addition, prescribed medical treatment with anti-inflammatory medications, such as topical steroids or cyclosporine (Restasis), may lessen the chances that dry eye will progress to a more severe form. Restasis is an excellent new medication for the treatment of DES. It is speculated that chronic inflammation leads to decreased tear film production and eye irritation. Restasis acts to decrease the inflammation on the surface of the eye and help your body to produce better tears.
Other dietary supplements such as flax seed oil or Omega-3 fish oil will promote better quality tear film and may reduce the symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome / Meibomitis.