Dry eye syndrome, or Ocular Surface Disease, as it is sometimes known, refers to a condition in which a person is unable to produce enough tears, or their tears do not possess the right qualities to keep eyes healthy and comfortable, causing a consistent lack of sufficient lubrication and moisture on the surface of the eye.
Much research has been done in recent years on this ailment, and there exists a great deal of technology never before available for the detection, diagnosis and treatment of dry eyes. For this reason, despite dry eye syndrome being extremely common, there is no reason not to come in to your local eye clinic to have your case treated. Failure to have your dry eyes treated can result in much more than discomfort. It can also cause long term damage to your eyes and eyelids.
Dr. Steven Rosen, of Rosen Optometry in Saint Louis, Missouri explains, “Symptoms of dry eyes are well known, and include stinging or burning in the eyes, scratchiness, and excessive irritation from smoke or wind. A person may also experience excessive tearing. In this case, the eye is attempting to flush and lubricate itself by producing more tears, but is unable to do so successfully due to the rate of evaporation or inability to spread the tears properly.”
A number of modern detection and diagnosis methods have also become available in recent years. Among the most effective technologies for this is a corneal topographer. This cutting-edge device will provide your eye doctor with a remarkably detailed view of the unique features of your eye, some of which may contribute to dry eye! Your eye doctor may also take samples of your tears to have them diagnosed with a test known as TearLab. This cutting edge test will analyze your tears, and tell your doctor if you have dry eyes, and how bad it is. If your eye doctor finds that you have dry eyes, there are a number of ways to treat it.
One option for treatment is prescription of artificial tears to help with some of the symptoms. Artificial tears are lubricating eye drops that may help with dry, scratchy feeling eyes. Specifically, Dr. Rosen recommends Oasis Tears and FreshKote artificial tears. These are top of the line artificial tears that should be able to help with a great deal of the discomfort, dryness and itchiness associated with dry eyes. Sometimes, a condition known as blepharitis, in which microscopic debris on your eye lashes cause bacteria and lash mites to multiply beyond control, causing your eyes to dry out. To address this, Dr. Rosen recommends Blephex. This state-of-the-art technology gently cleans the eye lashes with a tiny microbrush, sweeping away the debris and mites that are drying out your eyes.
Studies have also shown that nutrition may have a part in helping to relieve some symptoms of dry eyes. Your eye doctor may recommend nutritional supplements such as omega-3. Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids are cold-water fish, cod, herring and salmon, as well as flaxseed oil. Also ask Dr. Rosen about PRN Brand Omega-3 supplements.
For more information, and to have Dr. Rosen help you with your dry eyes, come see us today at Rosen Optometry.