What’s up doc?
Every month we feature one of our Doctors on our blog discussing a topic, issue or development that is receiving a lot of attention in our practice. This month’s “What’s up Doc?” features Dr. Jim Lohrberg talking about Dry Eye Syndrome
One of the most important things we treat at Chittick Family Eye Care is dry eye also known as Ocular Surface Disease. The fact is there are very few patients who come to us and say “I’m here because my eyes are dry.” It’s ironic, but many people don’t know their eyes are dry until they reach a severe stage.
In 2007 the International Dry Eye WorkShop or DEWS redefined dry eye:
“Dry eye is a multifactorial disease of the tears and ocular surface that results in symptoms of discomfort, visual disturbance, and tear film instability with potential damage to the ocular surface. It is accompanied by increased osmolarity of the tear film and inflammation of the ocular surface.”
It is key to note the potential damage to the surface of the eye that can occur with dry eye that can become very difficult to resolve.
“It’s ironic, but many people don’t know their eyes are dry until they reach a severe stage.”
As we grow older there are an increasing number of people affected by Dry Eye which is caused by a number of factors. Women have a three times greater risk of Dry Eye than men. We are also seeing an explosion of dry eye symptoms among younger individuals due to extended hours in front of electronic devices.
You may have dry eye if your eyes feel irritated, scratchy, or have an annoying foreign body sensation that comes and goes. By far the most common symptom is a loss of visual clarity, filminess or foggy vision that may improve with a blink or artificial tears.
There are a number of causes of dry eye including auto-immune disease, eye surgery, eye infections, drug side effects, contact lenses, infrequent blink or incomplete blinking as well as a dry environment. Fluid intake and excessive caffeine or alcohol are also significant contributors. Many people suffer from a lack of oils produced by special glands on the edge of the eyelid called meibomian glands, which can become sluggish, blocked or dry up entirely.
“We are also seeing an explosion of dry eye symptoms among younger individuals due to extended hours in front of electronic devices.”
Treatment can include artificial tears drops and ointments, tear duct plugs, warm compresses, nutritional supplements and anti-inflammatory drugs. Alterations of your environment and diet can also help. In some cases wearing a moisture chamber goggle at bedtime is recommended. In the most severe cases we are now offering a restorative application of the Prokera Amniotic Membrane.
If you are suffering from dry eye and would like more information, we would be happy to find the right treatment for you.
Chittick Family Eye Care is committed to provide the best in patient care and offering our patients the best technology in vision correction.