Dry eye is a relatively common condition in which there are insufficient tears to lubricate the eye. These tears not only wet the front of the eye but are necessary to maintain the health of the eye and provide clear and stable vision.
Patients may complain of foreign body sensation, irritation, grittiness, and burning of the eyes. They may also complain of fluctuations in vision, excess tearing, and or redness. Dry eye is often a multi-factorial condition, factors that impact dryness:
- Age: As we get older dry eye is more common
- Contact lens wear: Soft contact lens wear may exacerbate and increase dry eye symptoms. In some cases dry eye may contraindicate contact lens wear.
- Medications: Antihistamines, decongestants, blood pressure medications and antidepressants may reduce the amount of tears on the front surface of the eye.
- Environmental conditions: Smoke, wind and dry conditions can impact dryness
- Gender: Women are more likely to suffer from dryness secondary to hormonal changes
The diagnosis of dry eye is based on patient history and evaluation during an office visit. A treatment plan is derived for each patient based on the symptoms and signs obtained during an exam. To learn more about Restasis and Dry Eye please click here.