Dry Eye Disease
Tears are needed to lubricate the eyes and to wash away particles and foreign objects. A healthy tear film on the eye is necessary for good vision. Dry eyes develop when the eye is unable to maintain a healthy coating of tears. Dry eye usually occurs in people who are otherwise healthy. It becomes more common with age. Dry eye disease can occur for a number of different reasons; some of those being from hormonal changes that make your eyes produce fewer tears, a dry environment, sun exposure, smoking or certain medications.
If left untreated, dry eye diesase can cause permanent scarring to the suface of the eye. This can significantly affect quality of life and productivity.
Risk Factors Associated With Dry Eye Disease
- Computer use
- Contact lens wear
- Indoor environment (Air conditioning, ceiling fans, and forced air heating systems
- Outdoor environment( Arid climates and dry windy conditions)
- Frequent flying
- Health conditions (diabetes, thyroid-associated diseases, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren's syndrome)
- Medications (antihistamines, antidepressants, certain blood pressure medications and birth control pills)
- Eyelid problems
Common Symptoms Of Dry Eye Disease
Diagnosing and Treatment
Only a doctor can determine if you have Dry Eye Disease. The only way to know for sure if you've got chronic dry eye syndrome is to have your eye doctor perform diagnostic tests during an eye examination.
Symptoms alone are poor predictors of the presence and severity of dry eye disease. Symptoms can vary signifanctly from person to person, and may even be affected by personality type. Some people with only minimal or mild dry eyes may feel that there eyes are very bothersome, while others may have significant dry eye problems and not consider their symptoms significant enough to see an eye doctor (or they may not experience symptoms at all)
The best treatment plan for dry eyes is to target the root cause. Dr. Calotti and his team offer a variety of specialized diagnostics to helm him do this so that a patient specific treatment plan can be created. During your appointment your technician will take a sample of tears from each eye to measure osmolarity, advanced imaging of your meibomian glands, administer a test that detects MMP-9 (an inflammatory marker) and perform an assessment of tear stability.
Due to dry eye syndrome being chronic and a typically progressive condition. Depending on its cause and severity, it may not be completely curable. But in most cases, it can be managed successfully, usually resulting in noticeably greater eye comfort with fewer symptoms and sometimes sharper vision as well. A variety of patient specific treatment approaches can be used. Dr. Calotti may recommend topical treatment with instructions for associated at home care, more comprehensive treatment options done in office or a combination of both.