Ocular Surface Disease (Dry Eye Syndrome)

13 Dec

Dry eye syndrome (DES) is an underestimated and under diagnosed condition.  There are millions of Americans that put up with symptoms, think that it’s just the norm, and never seek treatment.  Fortunately we know more about the cause and contributing factors of this disease than ever before.  This has spawned new medications and treatments that help us help patients deal with this very real disease.

Symptoms of DES

  • Stinging
  • Burning
  • Foreign body sensation
  • Redness
  • Excessive tearing
  • Blurred vision

Factors that increase your risk of having DES

  • Age – DES increases with age
  • Gender – Females have a much higher incidence of DES
  • Contact lens wear
  • Environmental

                 Dry windy environments

                 Heat and air conditioning

                       Computer use


  • Systemic Disease

                 Sjogren’s syndrome

                 Rheumatoid Arthritis





                 Parkinson disease


                 Crohn’s disease

                 Vitamin A deficiency

  • Ocular Conditions


                       Allergic conjunctivitis

                       Meibomian gland dysfunction

                       Corneal dystrophies

  • Medications





                       Hormone replacement therapy

                       Oral steroids

                       Preservative eye drops

                       Systemic Beta blockers

                       Topical Glaucoma medications

  • Diet

                 Diets low in Omega 3’s or with a high ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3

Treatment of DES starts with an evaluation to determine which of the above factors you are dealing with.  A treatment program based on those findings and appropriate monitoring and follow up care are set in place.  The treatment of DES may include some or many of the following medications and strategies:

  • Non preserved eye drops
  • Lid heat and massage
  • Omega 3 supplementation
  • Anti inflammatory medications





  • Punctal plugs
  • Environmental considerations

                       Work space ergonomics

                       Computer lenses to create a microclimate around the eyes

Dry eye syndrome is a true disease process with concrete treatments available.  Call our office and set up a dry eye evaluation today.

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Posted by on December 13, 2011 in Diseases of the Eye


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