What is Dry Eye Disease?
- Dry eye is the most common eye disorder
- It is a multifactorial disease that is a disorder of the tear film due to inadequate tear production or excessive tear evaporation.
- Prevalence of dry eye in the population is up to 22%
- Older people and women seem to be most affected
- Blepharitis is the most common association
- Other risk factors include systemic conditions such as diabetes bone marrow transplantation and autoimmune conditions such as Sjogren’s, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Ocular associations include allergic conjunctivitis, contact lens wear, glaucoma drops usage, ocular surface and intraocular surgeries. Other eyelid abnormalities include incomplete eyelid closure and poor blink rates. Other associations include hormonal influences, a low diet of omega-3 fatty acids and systemic medications.
- Ocular irritation, foreign body sensation, stinging, pain, itching, redness, mucous discharge, dryness and paradoxical watering with light sensitivity and blurred vision.
- Symptoms can be worsened with reading, television and computer usage.
- Symptoms can substantially affect quality of life through impact on visual performance including intolerance of contact lenses and limitation of daily activities including driving.
Treatment is dependent on the cause and includes
- Addressing risk factors
- Lid hygiene
- Nutritional supplements including omega-3 essential fatty acids and flaxseed oil
- Moisture chamber spectacles including wraparound sunglasses
- Topical and / or oral antibiotics
- Topical steroids
- Restasis (Topical Cyclosporine-A)
- Autologous serum eye drops
- Punctal occlusion
- Eyelid surgery