Dry eye is a very common condition which the eye does not make sufficient tears to lubricate and nourish itself. In Utah, our high altitude and dry climate often make symptoms much worse. Other certain factors including the natural aging process, extended contact lens wear, certain medical conditions and even cold medicines can also exacerbate this condition.
Most contact lens wearers experience dry eyes at some point with many discontinuing or limiting lens wear because of discomfort. Dry eye is a significant finding in patients having undergone refractive surgery. A diet low in omega-3 fatty acids can also increase the risk of dry eye syndrome. Various medicines including chemotherapy, diuretics, antidepressants, antihistamines and betaadrenergic blockers may cause dry eyes as a side effect of the medication.
There is no cure for dry eye; however, there are certain treatment options available to help reduce its effects including:
We are also an Accredited Tear Lab office. This enables our office to perform a simple, yet accurate measurement of the osmolarity of your tears. One of our dry eye specialists can evaluate your symptoms and prescribe the best treatment plan for you.
As part of your eye examination, the following tests may be performed:
The osmolarity (salt content) of the tears may also be measured. This is a new test which has been developed to aid in the diagnosis of dry eye syndrome, in which tear osmolarity is increased over normal levels.
For more information visit www.aao.org/eye-health