While dry eye disease is a very common problem affecting over 5 million people in the United States, the symptoms can dramatically impact quality of life. The compassionate team at Davich Optical in Los Angeles aims to reduce patient discomfort and preserve eye health and quality of life through thorough comprehensive evaluation and innovative treatment of dry eye syndrome.
What is dry eye syndrome?
Dry eye is a disorder in which the eye isn’t well lubricated for varying reasons. When lubrication is inadequate, inflammation of the surface of the eye may also occur as a result, causing a plethora of uncomfortable symptoms.
Does dry eye go by any other names?
Dry eye or dry eye syndrome can also be named based on cause. Other names include keratoconjunctivitis (KCS), lacrimal keratoconjunctivitis, dysfunctional tear syndrome, evaporative tear deficiency, LASIK-induced neurotrophic epitheliopathy (LNE), and aqueous tear deficiency. All of these conditions are variations of dry eye syndrome.
What causes dry eye?
Dry eye generally results from tear deficiency, where lacrimal glands produce insufficient tears to keep the surface of the eye hydrated; tears don’t have the right composition to well-hydrate the eye; or tears evaporate rapidly due to inflammation of glands in the eyelids.
The causes of dry eye include:
- The use of certain medications (birth control pills, antidepressants, antihistamines, decongestants, medications for Parkinson’s disease, high blood pressure, and tranquilizers)
- Excessive or insufficient vitamin intake
- Long-term contact lens use
- LASIK surgery to correct refractory errors
- Meibomian gland dysfunction and other diseases of the eyelid glands
- Skin disease near the eyes or eyelids
- Increased surface area caused by Grave’s eye disease
There are many more potential causes for dry eye. The best way to determine the cause is through thorough evaluation and testing.
What are the symptoms of dry eye?
Patients with dry eye often report feeling desperate for alleviation. While dry eye rarely causes vision loss, living with the symptoms can be very challenging without adequate treatment. Symptoms include:
- Burning and stinging
- A sandy feeling; feeling the sensation of a foreign object
- Eye fatigue
- Heaviness in the eyelids
- Eye pain and redness
- Discharge from the eye
- Intolerance for contact lenses
- Periodic blurred vision
Can complications occur from lack of treatment?
Yes, untreated dry eye puts the patient at increased risk of chronic pain, corneal ulcers, and even some degree of vision loss.