According to Archives of Ophthalmology, one in seven adults over 40 suffer from dry eye. Many patients who suffer from Dry Eye Syndrome report that their eyes feel dry, scratchy and irritable; others report blurred vision. Dr. Henahan and the staff at Spectrum Eyecare have seen the number of dry eye cases dramatically increase in the last couple of years and have been successful at relieving the symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome for their patients.
Dry Eye Syndrome is a result of diminished tear production or a lack of fluid on the surface of the eye:
- Environment: Air travel, dry, windy conditions, and forced heating/air conditioning can increase the tear evaporation from your eyes
- Aging: Tear production decreases with age. Often the volume of constant tears at age 65 is less than half than at age 18.
- Contact lenses: Contact lenses can increase the evaporation of tears, leading to increased contact lens irritation and infection.
- Medications: Some medications decrease the body’s ability to produce tears. Some of these are decongestants, antihistamines, blood pressure and heart medicines.
- Poor diet: The common western diet of large amounts of carbohydrates, highly processed foods and low amounts of cold water, wild caught fish combine to alter the ratio of essential fatty acids in the diet. This results in elevated levels of inflammatory subtances in the eye contributing to dry eye symptoms.
- Smoking: Smokers are approximately 80% more likely to have dry eye.
Eyes are lubricated by two different types of tears produced by the tear glands in the upper and lower eyelids.
- Constant tears are continually produced to lubricate the eye at all times and contain natural antibiotics to fight infections.
- Reflex tears are only produced in response to irritation, injury or emotion to help rinse the surface of the eye.
When someone is afflicted with dry eyes, we evaluate the cause of their dry eye and recommend one or more treatments including nutritional therapy, artificial tears, punctal occlusion or prescription dry eye drops called Restasis.
As specialists in dry eye treatment, we take the time to determine which treatment(s) will provide the greatest benefit to each individual patient.
If you or anyone in your family suffers from dry, scratchy, irritated eyes or are tired of the daily eye drop regime, contact Dr. Henahan at Spectrum Eyecare or call us at 770-487-0667 to see what dry eye treatments are right for you.