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Dry eye syndrome affects millions of Americans, and symptoms can range from occasional, mild irritation to debilitating and stubborn symptoms. Each time you blink your eye, tears spread across the surface of the cornea. Tears exist to provide lubrication to the eye, reduce the risk of infection and to wash away foreign matter in the eye. Excess tears drain out of the eye through small drainage ducts in the inner corners of the eyelid. Dry eyes occur when tear production and drainage are out of balance. People with dry eye either do not produce good quality tears, or they simply do not produce enough tears.

What are the symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome?

Those with dry eye will experience symptoms such as:

  • Irritation
  • Scratchy or burning eyes
  • Foreign body sensation
  • Excess watering
  • Blurry vision

If you are experiencing warning signs of Dry Eye Syndrome, Dr. Patel can help. As our Dry Eye/Ocular Surface Disease specialist, she will walk you through a detailed, comprehensive eye exam in order to diagnose your symptoms.

What are the risk factors of Dry Eye Syndrome?

Dry eye can be the result of quite a few things, including:

  • Aging. Dry eyes are common as we reach our middle and later years.
  • Gender. Women are more likely to experience dry eye. Because of hormone changes.
  • Medical conditions. Those who have diabetes, thyroid problems and rheumatoid arthritis are more likely to experience dry eye syndrome. Blepharitis, another common eye disease, is also often accompanied by dry eye syndrome.
  • Environmental conditions. Exposure to wind, smoke and dry climates can greatly increase tear evaporation, causing dry eye symptoms. Prolonged computer use can also take it’s toll on the eyes, as people often blink muss less when staring at a screen.

Treatment for Dry Eye

How exactly is dry eye syndrome treated? For some, over-the-counter eye drops will do the trick. For those with more severe symptoms, there are other treatments. Other treatments for dry eye syndrome include:

  • Tear conservation: This treatment method involves plugging the tear ducts with devices called “punctal plugs.” This allows tears to stay in the eye for longer, relieving symptoms.
  • Increasing tear production: Some doctors will prescribe an omega-3 fatty acid supplement regimen. Overtime, this will help your eye produce healthier, more balanced tears.

Dry eye syndrome can be frustrating, but we can help you live a life free of stubborn dry eye symptoms! If you are experiencing dry eye syndrome, schedule your appointment with Dr. Patel today.

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