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Dry Eye Evaluation

Dry Eye Syndrome is one of the most common eye health problems Drs. Hansen, Pietig, and Waters evaluate. Every day millions of individuals have visual symptoms without ever realizing they are experiencing “dry eye”.

Chronic Dry Eye Syndrome has many causes. Medications, extensive visual tasks, computer use, climate, aging, nutrition, Lasik and cataract surgeries, and contact lenses are just some of the causes. Various conditions such as eye infections, thyroid problems, diseases such as diabetes, Graves Disease, Sjogren’s Syndrome, and lupus have all been linked to “dry eye”.

Symptoms of “dry eye” include:

  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Redness
  • Gritty feeling
  • Blurred vision
  • Discomfort with contact lenses
  • Excessive tearing
  • Fluctuating vision

Treatments For Dry Eye

Over time “dry eye” will only get worse if it remains untreated. There are many options for treating this condition.

  • Ocular lubricants – These drops add needed moisture and improve ocular health and vision. Lubricants are available in many forms ranging from thick to thin. They are ointment, gel, liquid gel, and drops. Brands and varieties vary and the best lubricants are preservative free or contain a vaporizing preservative when applied. Very few products meet these requirements, so be sure to follow the recommendations given by our doctors.
  • Oral vitamins – Vitamins that contain Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to be very effective in treating “dry eye”. These nutritional supplements improve moist membranes throughout the body and the quality of your tears can actually improve as soon as 30 days. Many other health benefits are associated with Omega-3’s. Since the best source of Omega-3’s is derived from fish oils, please ask Drs. Hansen, Pietig, or Waters for their recommendations on the best quality and amounts for your individual needs.
  • Punctal plugs – These plugs are used to partially block your tear duct, and conserve your eyes’ ‘natural tears’ to reduce “dry eye” symptoms. One advantage of punctal plugs is their ability to “work” 24 hours a day! Many patients are able to reduce or eliminate the need for ocular lubricants after punctal plugs are inserted.
  • Prescription eye drops – Restasis is currently the only prescription eye drop developed to treat “dry eye”. Restasis works by restoring lacrimal gland function by reducing inflammation secondary to “dry eye”.
  • “Dry Eye” accessories – Special eyelid treatments are available in the form of eyelid scrub soaps and hot packs. Sunglasses that seal off movement of air to reduce evaporation of tears and moisture goggles to wear while sleeping are also “dry eye” accessories we offer in our office.

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