Your eyes produce a very complex tear that is necessary to protect your eye health as well as provide the clear optical surface needed for sharp vision. In most cases, a diagnosis of dry eye disease (DED) does not mean you are not producing enough tears. Instead, it is usually a change in the composition of your tears. This change will alter the function of your tears that can lead to symptoms of dryness, burning, itching, tearing, redness, blurred vision and more.
Dry eye disease can be caused by several things such as aging, mechanical eyelid problems, lid disease, dry climates, allergies, and medications such as oral contraceptives and antidepressants. DED can also be caused by systemic health diseases like arthritis and Sjogren’s syndrome.
An easy place to start and see if your symptoms are indeed something due to dry eye, is to take the Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) questionnaire. Take the 12 question test online now and we will contact you with your results.
If you have symptoms of dry eye, schedule a comprehensive eye health examination with Dr. Bodkin. Dry eye cannot be cured, but Dr. Bodkin can prescribe a treatment plan so your eyes remain healthy and your vision is unaffected. Some treatments that Dr. Bodkin might prescribe include increasing humidity at home or work, inserting artificial tears or a moisturizing ointment, modifying your diet, taking dry eye vitamins, prescribing medications like Restasis or Xiidra, and using an eyelid cleanser called Avenova. In some cases, small plugs are inserted in the corner of the eyes to slow tear drainage. Sometimes, surgical closure of the drainage ducts may be recommended.