Dry Eye Syndrome

What is Dry Eye Syndrome?

Dry Eye Syndrome is a disease that is caused by either one or both of the following conditions:

  • Aqueous Deficient Dry Eye – in which there are insufficient tears to lubricate and nourish the eye
  • Meibomian Gland Dysfunction – when the essential oils that protect the tear film are not being properly produced

Damage to the ocular surface can result in discomfort, visual disturbance, and tear film instability.

What are common symptoms of Dry Eye?

People with dry eye experience blurred or variable vision, and can also experience irritation, grittiness, scratchy, burning, and stinging sensations. This can result in chronic red eyes and can compromise the surface of the eye, impairing vision.

What causes Dry Eye?

Dry Eye

Chronic irritation from:

  • Allergies
  • Air conditioning, heating, or ceiling fans
  • Dry environments such as airplanes
  • Improper contact lens use, fit, and solutions
  • Increased computer use
  • Eyelid disease
  • Cigarette smoke

Prescription and over the counter medications:

  • Antihistamines
  • Decongestants
  • Blood pressure medications
  • Antidepressants
  • Diuretics
  • Acne treatments (specifically Accutane)
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Eye drops (Glaucoma, redness reducers)

Dry Eye

Medical conditions:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sjogren’s Syndrome
  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid

Other risk factors include:

  • Age
  • Women over 40
  • Poor diet and reduced water intake
  • Chemotherapy/radiation
  • LASIK or other eye surgeries
  • Poor eyelid hygiene resulting in Meibomian Gland Dysfunction

How is dry eye diagnosed?

We can diagnose Dry Eye Syndrome, along with Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, through a comprehensive eye examination. We also assess:

  • Patient History
  • External examination of the eye specifically looking at lid structure and evaluation of blink patterns
  • Evaluate the cornea and tear film with vital dyes
  • Measure the quality and quantity of tears and inflammatory mediators with Tearlab and Inflammadry
  • Structural imaging of meibomian glands