Dry Eye Disease is a common eye condition due to either a deficiency in tear production or tear quality. Commonly patients experience gritty or sandy feeling in their eyes; chronic redness; or even watery eyes.
Studies show that nearly 20% of North Americans middle aged and older suffer from dry eye disease. Dry eye is more common in women, contact lens wearers, post LASIK or PRK patients, and dry eye becomes more prevalent with age. Systemic diseases like Sjogren’s syndrome, Rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus, or any disease that compromises the health of the eyelids or the corneal surface can also result in chronic dryness. And, menopause can also increase the probability of dry eye syndrome due to the hormonal changes that older women undergo during that time of their life, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Blepharitis & Meibomian Glands
One of the common causes of dry eye is inflammation of the eyelid oil glands. This occurs frequently due to skin conditions, such as rosacea, or chronic bacterial infections. When the eyelids become inflamed it is called blepharitis and can lead meibomian gland dysfunction.
Patients will likely experience red mattered eyes, excessive mucous discharge, or even foreign body sensation. Our doctors are very experienced in detecting and treating these issues.
Dry eye is a chronic disease that will require ongoing treatment. Our doctor’s goal is to get your eyes healed, feeling comfortable, and stabilize your vision. Depending on the severity and type of dry eye (blepharitis vs Sjogren’s etc) they will help tailor a treatment plan to best help you. That plan can include topical drops such as a high-quality artificial tear, medicated drops, or even oral medications.
Some forms of dry eye cannot be successfully treated just with medications and will require in-office procedures. These procedures can include the expression of the inflamed oils out of the glands to help restore production and stabilize your tears. It can also include things like healing membranes and custom contact lenses to restore the surface of the eye. Ask our doctors what solutions might be best for you.