The Nitty Gritty of Dry Eyes

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Dry Eyes is a chronic and progressive condition that affects millions of people. In the United States, dry eyes rarely leads to blindness, but in parts of the world near the equator and where medical care is non-existent, it can result in eye diseases that cause blindness. Common symptoms to watch for are dryness, burning, grittiness or sandiness, foreign body sensation, excessive tearing chronic red eyes or eyelid margins, soreness around the eyes, contact lens intolerance or discomfort, and even blurry or fluctuating vision. Even recurrent styes can be a symptom.

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Dry Eye Syndrome

Many patients come to our office at Brookside Optometric Group not only because they have blurry vision, but also because their eyes are often irritated, and even red. Sometimes the irritation and redness have been going on for so long that the patients think it is "normal", especially if they wear contact lenses. In actual fact, they may be suffering from dry eyes or Dry Eye Syndrome (DES).

DES is a disease of the tear film covering the surface of the eye. This condition results in ocular discomfort, blurry vison, and tear film instability that can damage the surface of the eye. This then leads to inflammation of the eye, producing red eyes, swelling, and sometimes even watery eyes. Eventually the corneal surface will be damaged, causing further pain, discomfort, and even blurred vision.

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Make-up Tips

In honor of Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month, I want to offer some tips to my female patients regarding make-up application and removal. I am not talking about tips on how to get the perfect winged eyeliner or smoky eye (but if someone can teach me, that will be greatly appreciated). I am referring to how to put make-up on and remove it to avoid getting dry and red eyes.

One of the common causes of dry eye is meibomian gland dysfunction. The eyelid margin (also known as the waterline) is lined with meibomian glands that secrete oil to lubricate the eye. However, if there is chronic blockage of the gland, it can become inflamed and no longer produce the oil we need to keep our eyes feeling moisturized.

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Springtime is allergy time!

As spring approaches most of us will appreciate the beautiful flowers, blooming trees, the singing birds, and the bees. Unfortunately some of you will dread the sneezing, coughing, and the watery, swollen, and itchy eyes associated with Seasonal Allergic Conjunctivitis (SAC).

Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis (SAC), is the condition that many patients often suffer from without knowing they have it. Unfortunately, we often do the wrong things out of habit.

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Dry Eye FAQs

Q:  WHY DO MY EYES ALWAYS FEEL SO IRRITATED?  A:  COULD BE DRY EYE SYNDROME Next to blurry vision, our most common ocular problem in the Valley is dry eye, and many people don’t even know they have it! Studies show that up to 1/3 of people suffer from dry eye naturally, and our dry Valley air and high degree of allergens makes it even worse. WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF DRY EYE? Some symptoms are obvious, such as a sensation of dryness or burning. But foreign body sensation, feeling as if you have an eyelash in your eye but nothing is there, is another. How about blurry vision that varies, worse at some times more than others? And quite ironically, watery eyes is yet another symptom. Many of my patients say, “No, doctor, it’s not that I don’t have enough tears, I have too many!” That is because your eyes sense irritation and produce tears in an...

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