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Everything You Need To Know About Dry Eye

March 16, 2016

In recent years, dry eye has become a common reason why patients visit with an ophthalmologist. In New Jersey and New York, winter can be a particularly uncomfortable time for dry-eye sufferers. Fortunately, there are effective treatments for dry eye, which result in relief from this uncomfortable and painful condition. Specifically, OCLI is the proud home of the Dry Eye Care Center, where we’re happy to meet all your dry-eye needs.

Dry eye is a disorder of the tear film, which covers the eye itself. The tear film is composed of water, mucus, and fat (lipid) layers. Dry eye can also be caused by surface or epithelial abnormalities.

As previously mentioned, symptoms of dry eye become worse due to weather changes – like when it gets dry and cold outside during the New England winter. Furthermore, extended time spent in front of a computer screen or reading can also make dry eye worse. In fact, you may notice that your dry eye is worse at the end of the day after hours of eye strain.

Rarely, dry eye and problems with the tear film are caused by a primary disorder of the eye. These primary disorders can affect either the nerves (familial dysautonomia) or the tear glands (hypoplastic lacrimal glands).

Most of the time, however, dry eye is secondary to another condition, medication or treatment. Here are some things that can result in dry eye:

  • Sarcoidosis
  • Sjorgen’s syndrome
  • Lymphoma
  • Hemochromatosis
  • Antihistamines
  • Antidepressants
  • Alcohol dependence
  • Diuretics
  • Menopause

Of note, evaporative tear loss associated with acne rosacea can result in a poor-quality tear film which easily breaks up and dissipates. Evaporative tear loss is a little trickier to treat than more common causes of dry eye.

Symptoms of dry eye include the following:

  • Redness and inflammation
  • Impaired vision
  • Itching
  • Burning

Treatment for dry eye is typically symptomatic, and products that help supplement tear production like artificial tears help with this condition. Depending on the cause, other measures that help with dry eye include eyelid hygiene, mild topical corticosteroids, and antibiotics.

Altering your behaviors can help alleviate the symptoms of dry eye. For example, while staring at a computer screen, you should make a conscious attempt to blink more. Additionally, a humidifier may help moisten the air either at work or at home. At the Dry Eye Center, our specialists can help you evaluate your habits and environment to help minimize the exacerbation of dry eye.

At OCLI, we also offer cutting-edge technology and products that help with dry eye including the MiBoThermoflo therapeutic treatment device. The MiBoThermoflo uses heat and gentle massage to break up hardened oils within the tear gland, thus resulting in a healthier tear film. We also offer Oasis Tears, the finest preservative-free lubricating tear drops. For more information about our dry-eye products and services, please contact us and inquire about our Dry Eye Center.

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