Sometimes an eye condition that appears to be only a nuisance can become something more serious. One such condition is dry eye syndrome. Our Bronx eye care doctor can determine if a case of dry eye is a temporary condition, a chronic syndrome or a sign of a more serious disease that may be developing. Eyes depend on tears to provide moisture and lubrication to maintain vision, comfort and to help resist infection. Dry eye syndrome can be an imbalance in the composition of tears, which are actually made up of several different components or a blockage in the tear glands around the eyes. Dry eye syndrome can occur due to the natural aging process, especially during menopause, be due to certain drugs, such as antihistamines and birth control pills, or some medical conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome and collagen vascular disease. Environmental conditions, such as heating or air conditioning can also cause a temporary dry eye condition.
According to our Bronx eye care doctor at Urban Eyes, symptoms of dry eye syndrome include pain, light sensitivity, a sandy feeling in the eyes or a feeling that there is something in the eyes, itching, redness or blurring vision. It is also possible that someone with dry eye syndrome can experience the opposite effect and have excess tears running down their cheeks, this happens when the tears contain too much water and not enough of the other lubricating ingredients so the tears are runny but not effective as lubricants for the eyes.
Dry eye syndrome cannot be cured but our Bronx eye care doctor in has a number of treatments to control the condition and relieve the symptoms. The primary treatment for dry eye syndrome is the use of over-the-counter artificial tear drops and ointments. A more invasive treatment is to close the ducts that drain tears out of the eyes, this is called a temporary punctual occlusion and involves plugging the tear drain of the lower eyelid. If this temporary tear duct blocking is effective our doctor may recommend non-dissolving punctual plugs, which are longer lasting or even closing the tear drain through heat. There is a medical device called a lipiflow that uses heat and pressure on the eyelids to unclog blocked tear glands that produce oil that is part of the tear film. Restasis is a prescription medication that is an FDA approved treatment for dry eye; other medications also are used for dry eye syndrome including the short-term use of steroids. Don’t suffer with chronic dry eye let are doctor evaluate your condition.