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Drs. Fine, Hoffman & Sims Opthalmologists in Eugene Oregon

Dry Eyes

Symptoms of Dry Eyes
Dry EyesStinging, burning, scratchy sensation, sensitivity to light, tearing, tired eyes, contact lens discomfort and blurred vision. Often dry eye symptoms are mistaken for allergies, climatic conditions or just "eyestrain".

Causes

Dry EyesEnvironmental Causes:

Hot, dry and/or windy climates, high altitudes, excessive sun exposure, central heating, air conditioning, cigarette smoke, air pollution, air travel.

Refractive eye surgeries:

Dry eye is the most common complaint following LASIK. Your doctor should test your eyes prior to surgery to ensure the best outcome.

Contact Lens Wear:

Two million people a year give up on wearing contact lenses. 50% of these contact lens “dropouts” say its due to dryness or discomfort. If you have Dry Eye Disease, your doctor can prescribe a specific lens for your condition or prescribe treatment to allow you to wear your lenses more comfortably.

Low blink rate:

Blinking is critical in stimulating tear production, as well as spreading the tears across the eye’s surface. The three common culprits responsible for reducing your blink rate are computer use, reading, and watching TV. Sometimes just remembering to blink can improve how your eyes feel.

Medications:

It is important that your eye doctor know all of the medications that you take. Some medications known to aggravate dry eye disease are; allergy medications, decongestants, antidepressants, blood pressure medications, birth control pills, diuretics, and pain medications just to name a few.

Diseases:

Some diseases associated with dry eye disease are; Diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Sjögren’s syndrome, Rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus, Lacrimal Gland Deficiency, Blepharitis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and Rosacea.

Hormonal deficiencies or changes:

Thyroid conditions, hormonal changes during menopause, decreased production of androgen, estrogen supplementation can all affect ocular health.
Be sure to let your doctor know if you are taking hormone replacement therapy
or have a thyroid condition.

Treatment Available

  • Artificial Tears: There are many artificial tears available over the counter. Ask an Accredited Dry Eye Center which drop is best for your specific condition.
  • Ointments. If your eyes dry out while you sleep, you can use a thicker lubricant, such as an ointment, at night.
  • Plugs (temporary and permanent punctual occlusion). Sometimes it is necessary to close the ducts that drain tears out of the eye. Temporary or permanent plugs can be inserted to hold tears around the eyes longer. Many patients find that plugs improve comfort and reduce the need for artificial tears.
  • Restasis®. For the treatment of chronic dry eye, Restasis is currently the only prescription eye drop that helps your eyes increase their own tear production with continued use.
  • Other medications. Other medications, including topical steroids, may also be beneficial in some cases.
  • Surgery. If needed, the ducts that drain tears into the nose can be permanently closed to allow more tears to remain around the eye. This is done with local anesthetic on an outpatient basis. There are no limitations in activity after having this surgery.

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