Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry eye syndrome is a chronic lack of sufficient tear lubrication to naturally moisture the eye or in some cases, tears may have a chemical composition that causes them to evaporate too quickly. It is estimated that over ten million Americans suffer from the symptoms of dry eyes.
One of the most common causes of dry eye syndrome is the normal aging process. The condition is also a common complaint among long-term contact lens wearers. Thinning tear film may also be a side effect of taking medications such as antihistamines, birth control pills, and anti-depressants. Individuals living in dry dusty, windy climates often have dry eye syndrome.
Common symptoms include itchy, burning, scratchy eyes, redness or blurred vision that improves with blinking and excessive tearing. Many people find relief simply by using artificial tears on a regular basis available both over the counter and by prescription.
For more severe conditions, eye doctors are able to close the tear drain in the eyelid with special inserts called punctal plugs. These special plugs prevent drainage of the tears, keeping the eye moist. This treatment option is available as both a temporary or permanent solution depending on the individual diagnosis.
The eye doctors at the Shammas Eye Medical Center will assess the degree of dryness of the eyes and start the appropriate course of treatment. In advanced cases, punctal plugs are used to preserve the largest amount of tears inside the eyes.