Dry eye is a pathologic condition that can cause fluctuations in vision. Corneal and conjuctival dryness can be due to deficient tear production, or from other systemic causes. Common reasons why some people experience dry eye are;
- Contact Lens Wear
- Excessive Computer Use and Screen Time
- Health Conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, and Menopause
- Previous Lasik Surgery
- Smoking, Tobacco Use
- Environmental Exposures
Severe dry eye can cause foreign body sensations, burning eyes, filamentary keratitis, and erosion of conjuctival and corneal epithelium, which can blur or distort vision. Severe dry eye can also be attributed to inflammatory diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sjogrens disease, lupus, and sarcoidosis, amongst other auto immune disorders.
At Visione 360 and Vision Associates of El Paso, we utilize the Tear Lab Tear Osmolarity Testing system to accurately record and monitor tear production. We also use industry standard methods of measurement including Schirmer's Testing and Tear Break Up Time. Dry eye is a syndrome, and must be monitored and treated effectively to avoid the risk of permanent corneal surface damage.
Treatment options range from over the counter eye drop options to the insertion of plugs in the lacrimal duct, and covering the ocular surface with an amniotic membrane to preserve moisture on the surface and surface repair. As a certified Dry Eye Center of Excellence, we can help you on your path to comfort and relief from dry eye syndrome.
If you are experiencing the following signs and symptoms you should seek treatment for dry eye.
Stinging, burning, scratchy sensation, sensitivity to light, tearing, tired eyes, and difficulty wearing contact lenses, as well as Blurred vision, often worsening at the end of the day or after visually focusing for a prolonged period on a nearby task.
SLEEP APNEA AND DRY EYE
Patients who have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, and use a C-Pap machine at night, may suffer from dry eye. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, C-Pap use can lead to increased tear evaporation, and ocular surface irritation. It is important to have your eyes examined at least once per year if you use a C-Pap machine to ensure you are not suffering from any ocular surface disease or damage.
Also called allergic conjunctivitis or ocular allergy, eye allergy occurs when something you are allergic to irritates the conjunctiva. This is the delicate membrane covering the eye and the inside of the eyelid. Allergies can cause irritation, excessive tearing of the eyes, a red eye appearance, and can cause visual difficulty. Treatment of ocular allergies typically consists of ophthalmic anti-histamine eye drops, and in some occurrences systemic medications.