Dry eyes affect as many as 48% of all Americans, mostly women, but most people are unaware of the potential damage that chronic dry eye syndrome can cause. Risk factors for developing dry eye include:
- Menopause or other hormonal conditions such as pregnancy and menstruation
- Some systemic diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and some types of thyroid disease
- Sjögren's Syndrome
- Certain over the counter medicines can also cause dry eye
- Long term wearing of contact lenses
- LASIK or other refractive surgery, where their corneas have reduced sensation due to incisions or tissue removal
- Exposure to dry, windy climates
- Sitting at a computer for long periods of time
If you suffer from dry, itchy, irritated eyes, or your eyes sometimes water excessively and you find it difficult to keep your eyes open - you should discuss the problem with your Eye Group doctor.
Your doctor will evaluate the causes of your dry eyes and then recommend a course of action. A simple examination is sometimes enough to make the diagnosis, but your doctor may preform a test to confirm the diagnosis of chronic dry eye syndrome. There are two common types of tests, one involving your doctor observing staining patterns in your eye after administering dye drops; the other, involves the doctor placing a small strip of filter paper under the lower eyelid to measure tear productions.
The good news is there are treatments for chronic dry eye syndrome. There are eye drops, lubricants and surgical options designed to address specific causes of dry eye. No two patients are the same and you can trust our doctors to find the best fit for you and your specific situation.