Dry Eyes &
Dry Eye Syndrome
About Dry Eye Syndrome & Dry Eyes
Dry Eye Syndrome and dry eyes were once simply considered a painful nuisance. But today we know dry eye problems are a quite common eye condition that can affect eye health and vision. Affecting women to a greater degree than men, an estimated 16 million Americans have been diagnosed with dry eyes but the actual number of people suffering from dry eye symptoms is likely much higher. Some reports indicate that nearly half of all U.S. adults experience dry eye signs and symptoms.
Anytime you do not produce enough tears, or if tears evaporate or drain too quickly, the symptoms of dry eyes may become present. The symptoms of dry eyes include a scratchy, dry, sandy or gritty feeling that can be accompanied by a stringy, clear, white discharge with noticeable pain and redness. Dry eye creates additional risk of corneal infection, as the tear film, which serves as a protective mechanism and contains a number of antimicrobial components, is deficient.
Treatment & Help for Dry Eye
At North Jersey Eye Associates, our eye doctors will provide diagnostic testing and treatment of dry eyes and will be able to make a treatment recommendation for your individual situation. Depending on the severity and the cause of your dry eyes, we may recommend a number of different treatment options to help your dry eye problems including Restasis® or Xiidra® prescription eye drops, punctal plugs, artificial tears, and even dietary supplements and vitamins. If you have mild or even moderate dry eyes, the first course of treatment may only be to use unpreserved artificial tears which we will select for you in terms of salt content and viscosity.
There may some environmental factors that you need to alter to make you more comfortable such as how and where you are exposed to heat ducts or fans blowing, as well as attempting to keep the areas that you spend a great deal of time in at a proper humidity level.
About Punctal Plugs
Our eye doctors at North Jersey Eye Associates may suggest the insertion of tiny punctal plugs that will slow down or even stop the drainage of tears from the eye. These plugs are easily and comfortably placed in the ducts in your eyelids. If the results are good, we may place a more permanent type of plug in eyelid ducts to affect a long-term solution. These plugs can remain in place indefinitely, but can also be removed as needed.
About Restasis® & Xiidra® Eye Drops
For patients with moderate to severe dry eyes who may have already tried using artificial tear eye drops and punctal plugs without relief, the prescription of Restasis® or Xiidra® eye drops with or without the other treatments may often help alleviate your symptoms. Even with the above treatment options, there are some patients that may not respond as well as desired due to some underlying low-grade inflammatory or infectious process. In these cases, it may be necessary for us to also prescribe an oral antibiotic such as doxycycline or an anti-inflammatory eye drop such as a steroid eye drop.