What is Dry Eye Disease?
Dry Eye disease is a common condition which affects millions of people each year. This is a progressive condition where the eye’s ability to produce healthy lubricating tears is reduced. Subsequently, dry eye may lead to potential cornea scarring and other serious eye damage.
How do I know if I have Dry Eye?
Dry Eye may seem counter intuitive to those who experience excessive watering or tearing of the eyes. In other words, it’s a common misconception that if your eyes water, you could not have dry eye. However, watering of the eyes is a symptom of dry eye. This occurs because the eye’s lipid layers try to compensate for dryness by producing tears which often roll down your cheek.
There are many causes of dry eye, which may include arid conditions (dry, windy weather), extensive computer use, aging, certain medications and surgery. If you suffer from any of the following symptoms, you may have Dry Eye:
- Arthritis or Joint Pain
- Burning or Stinging
- Contact Lens Discomfort
- Eye Soreness
- Foreign Body Sensation (feels like something is in your eye)
- Red Eyes
- Sensitivity to Light
- Sandy or Gritty Feeling
- Watering or Tearing Eyes
Is Dry Eye Treatable?
Dry Eye is a treatable condition, which can be easily diagnosed by your Kansas City eye doctor at Discover Vision Centers. Options to treat Dry Eye include:
- Over the Counter Drops: These eye drops can be purchased at any drugstore and are used to lubricate and moisturize your eyes. Over the counter drops help to soothe and relieve many Dry Eye symptoms. Avoid purchasing drops which only treat redness, and instead, purchase eye drops that treat as many of your symptoms as possible.
- RESTASIS® (Cyclosporine Ophthalmic Emulsion) 0.05%: RESTASIS® is an FDA-approved prescription therapy which enhances the production of healthy tears in your eyes. RESTASIS® is often used for patients suffering from Chronic Dry Eye and requires a prescription from your Kansas City eye doctor.
- Punctal Plugs: Punctal plugs are used for patients who suffer from excessive watering due to Dry Eye. This is a painless procedure that can be performed in the office by your Kansas City eye doctor at Discover Vision Centers. The plugs are inserted into the lacrimal, or tear producing, gland to help plug or stop the tears in your eyes from draining so quickly.
- Punctal Surgery: In some situations when medication or punctal plugs are ineffective, surgery may be recommended to relieve discomfort caused by Dry Eye. Rather than plugging the lacrimal gland, your eye doctor will surgically close the tear ducts to prevent excessive tearing.
Dry Eye syndrome is an uncomfortable and often painful condition, but it can be easily managed by your eye doctor. If you think you may have Dry Eye syndrome call 816.478.1230 to make an appointment. To schedule your appointment online, please click here.