The itching, burning, and scratching that is dry eye syndrome is caused by insufficient lubrication on the surface of the eye. It is quite common and your risk increases with age. In fact, you may develop dry eyes from a wide variety of factors, including:
- Aging – as you get older, your glands simply slow down the production of tear film.
- Environmental factors – windy, cold, or dry climates such as a Midwest winter can cause dry eyes.
- Menopause – women going through menopause make up the highest concentration of dry eye sufferers.
- Medication side effects – including antihistamines, decongestants, and birth control.
- Work environment – if your work environment is dry or dusty, or requires you to stare at a computer screen for prolonged periods.
- Contact lens usage
- Contact lens intolerance – when contact lens wearers are no longer able to apply a contact lens to their eye or wear contacts for any extended time without pain, discomfort, or injury.
- Disease – there are diseases linked to chronic dry eye. These include Sjogren’s syndrome, as well as Graves’ disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Up to 48 percent of adults regularly experience dry eye symptoms, and for many, something as simple as OTC drops may suffice. You should know that dry eye syndrome is a chronic condition with symptoms that only worsen over time, but with proper diagnosis and treatment, it can be managed and even improved. Depending on the actual cause, treatment options for dry eye syndrome include:
- OTC drops, such as Visine or Refresh Artificial Tears
- A prescription drug called Restasis®
- Punctal plugs that block the eyes’ drainage system
- Omega-3 fish oil
- Intense pulsed light (photofacial) treatment
- LipiFlow® dry eye treatment – for long-lasting treatment of meibomian gland dysfunction
- BlephEx dry eye treatment — for treatment of dry eyes and blepharitis
At Kugler Vision, we have a dedicated dry eye clinic that is equipped with the latest diagnostic and treatment technology to correctly diagnose and alleviate your dry eye symptoms. In fact, we can even treat dry eye sufferers who thought they weren’t LASIK candidates because of the condition.
If you’re tired of the daily drops, consider scheduling one of our dry eye exam and evaluations to learn more about the cause of your dryness and potential treatment options, including the revolutionary LipiFlow dry eye treatment. We are Omaha’s first eyecare center to offer it.