- Written by Susan Haskell, OD, FAAO Chief of Dry Eye Services
“Dry Eyes” occur when the eye’s surface is lacking proper lubrication. Dry eye can result from either a low quantity of tears (e.g. your body is not producing enough tears) or a poor quality to the tears. When tears are of poor quality, they often evaporate before providing adequate lubrication to the surface of the eye.
Interestingly enough, feeling “dry” or “irritated” is not often a dry eye patient’s primary symptom. Often patients will express difficulties with seeing and think that they need a new prescription. This happens because the ocular surface acts much like an automobile windshield. When there are imperfections in the windshield, it is difficult to see clearly through it.
The key to successfully treating dry eye patients is with a proper work up. A proper work up will include testing of indicators like osmolarity, inflammation, and staining of the surface of the eye. Most patients with dry eye will have some level of involvement in their meibomian or “oil producing” glands. This is another area that should be carefully evaluated.
For today’s patients, the biggest contributing factor is “screen time”. With extended use of digital devices like cell phones, gaming consoles and computers, patients blink rates are decreasing. This is causes an unhealthy changes to the oil glands in the eyelids often resulting in dry eye signs and symptoms.
There is some good news. Today’s dry eye technology provides us the ability to better tailor dry eye treatments to the needs of the individual patient. New treatment combinations including a prescription of Restasis, True Tear, or Xiidra, and / or procedures including Lipiflow, Miboflo and punctual plugs provide much needed relief of dry eye symptoms. This often shortens the course of symptoms leading to a happy, healthy, well seeing patient. Not all causes of dry eye are the same! Have your dry eye evaluated to find the best routine for you.
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The Dry Eye Center at Dover Eye Car
65 Belknap Street; Dover NH 0382