Dry Eye Syndrome (DES), also known as Ocular Surface Disease (OSD), is the most common eye disorder, affecting about 20% of the population.
Dry Eye Syndrome is caused by an imbalance of water, oil, or protein in your eye. Clogged oil glands contribute to 86% of Dry Eye Syndrome and Ocular Surface Disease progression.
The risk of acquiring this condition increases with age. It's also seen more commonly among people over the age of 50 and post-menopausal women.
What does dry eye feel like?
Dry Eye Syndrome is a highly uncomfortable and irritating sensation in your eye that is commonly mistaken for eye allergies.
Like eye allergies, dry eye can cause redness and burning, according to Healthline; however, a lack of tears doesn't cause the itchiness and swelling that allergies can. While itching may occur with dry eyes, it is usually more intense with allergies.
There are common ways to tell if you have dry eye. If you struggle with eye irritation or discomfort, you should seek prompt evaluation and treatment, even if your symptoms seem mild.
Common symptoms of dry eye include:
Sensitivity to light
Burning of the eyes
Difficulty wearing contact lenses
Trouble driving at night
What are the leading causes of Dry Eye Syndrome?
Meibomian Gland Disease (MBD) is the leading cause of dry eye and ocular discomfort.
MBD occurs when the meibomian glands in the eye become blocked, causing the oily part of the tears not to release.
Dry eye frequently occurs with age and hormonal changes that make your eyes produce fewer tears. Cases are more common in people over 50 and post-menopausal women.
The three main types of Dry Eye Syndrome include:
Not Enough Oil – Evaporative Dry Eye (EDE - Most Common)
Not Enough Water – Aqueous Deficient Dry Eye (ADDE)
Not Enough Water and Oil – Mixed Dry Eye (MDE)
Dr. Green will categorize your dry eyes and tailor a treatment for you.
How do you treat Dry Eye Syndrome?
Treatment for Dry Eye Syndrome varies depending on each case.
At VisualEyes, we have cutting-edge diagnostic and treatment technology to assess, manage, and treat every Dry Eye Syndrome/OSD level.
We start with a careful eye examination of the ocular surface to determine which areas of the tear film are in distress. Dr. Green will then plan an initial treatment plan which may include the following:
TempSure Envi procedures to revitalize the oil glands along the lid margins (Click here to learn more about the TempSure Envi procedure)
Lid margin hygiene to encourage better oil gland production: Blephadex cleanser, Bruder Hypochlorous spray, and Bruder mask
Prescription eye drop medication
Amniotic membrane technology
Autologous serum eye drops
Discussion of supplements that may be beneficial
Is Dry Eye Syndrome serious?
The short answer is yes; Dry Eye Syndrome is serious.
Advanced dry eyes may damage the eye's front surface and impair your vision. Severe cases of dry eye and those left untreated can lead to permanent vision loss, including blindness.
Call us at VisualEyes (205.861.2020) for prompt evaluation and treatment, even if your symptoms seem mild.