What is dry eye?
Dry eye occurs when the eye does not produce enough tears, or when the tears that are produced are not of the correct consistency causing them to evaporate too quickly. Chronic dry eye can cause inflammation of the surface of the eye. If left untreated, this condition can lead to pain, infection, corneal scarring, and potential loss of vision. However, permanent loss of vision from dry eye is uncommon.
What causes dry eye?
*Dry or windy climate.
*Use of contact lenses.
*Prior LASIK surgery.
*Long periods of computer use (reduced blinking).
*Hormonal changes during pregnancy and menopause.
*Certain medications such as diuretics, beta-blockers, and anti-histamines.
*Blepharitis (An inflammation of the eyelid that affects the eyelashes or tear production).
*Autoimmune diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus or Thyroid disease.
What are the symptoms of dry eye?
*Stinging or burning of the eye.
*A sandy or gritty feeling as if something is in the eye.
*A stringy discharge from the eye.
*Pain and redness of the eye.
*Episodes of blurred vision or heavy eyelids.
*Uncomfortable contact lenses.
*Decreased tolerance of reading, working on the computer, or any activity that requires sustained visual attention.
What can I do to help myself?
*Supplement your diet with Omega-3’s.
*Use artificial tears, gels, gel inserts, and ointments that can provide temporary relief by replacing your naturally produced tears.
*Wear wrap-around sunglasses or sunglasses or glasses with side shields to preserve moisture and protect from wind, dust, and environmental exposures. *Place a humidifier in your home to moisten the air.
*Take adequate breaks while reading and using the computer.
*Consult with your physician regarding the use of punctal plugs and / or Restasis.™
More valuable information regarding dry eye can be found at:
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