Today we’d like to discuss a topic that affects a majority of Brownsville Texas residents and is commonly misunderstood. Dry eye syndrome is a lack of sufficient lubrication affecting the front tissues of the eye and symptoms include:
Itching and burning in your eyes
Foreign body sensation in the eye
Sometimes watery eyes due to over stimulation of the tear producing glands
Fluctuating vision that requires tight blinking to clear.
The lack of sufficient moisture, besides causing discomfort, creates problems for your eyes because tears wash out dust and debris, keep the eyes moist and bathe the eyes with enzymes that neutralize the microorganisms that colonize the eye. Reduced tear production hinders these activities, which can affect the health of your eyes.
There are many causes of dry eye syndrome, a few include: living in a dry and hot climate, the aging process – especially during menopause, side effects of many medications, extended computer work and reading, symptoms of other diseases, and long term contact lens wear.
There are many different treatments for dry eye syndrome, and the effectiveness of the treatment relies on the clinical evaluation of your eyes to determine the specific cause. A few of the treatment include:
Steroid Ophthalmic Eye Drops - a short course of a soft steroid has proven to be one of the most effective first line treatments for symptomatic Dry Eye. This eliminates the inflamation on the ocular surface and curbs the inflammatory cascade central to effectively treating Dry Eye Disease.
Meibomian Glands - These glands create the oil for the tear film and they commonly get clogged and blocked. Topical Heat and localized massage is what clears these glands and allows them to function.
Punctal plugs - (tear saver plugs) are small bio-compatible devices inserted into the tear ducts to block tear drainage.
Alternative treatments – include humidifiers, avoiding overhead fans,drinking lots of water, and artificial tear moisture eye drops.
At Brownsville Eye Center, we specialize in diagnosing and treating dry eye syndrome. During your exam, we will determine the potential causes of your dry eye syndrome and recommend an appropriate treatment plan.