Salt Lake City Eye Clinic

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Dry Eye

Dry eye syndrome is a common disease in which the eye under-produces tears to form a tear film which moisturizes and lubricates the surface of the eye. A normal functioning eye constantly produces tears to form a tear film, which acts as moisturizer and lubricant. For someone with dry eye, the resulting lack of moisture and lubrication can cause a variety of problems.

Dry eye syndrome is typically more common in older people and women; however, there are many other factors that can cause this to happen. A common cause of dry eye can be over the counter and prescription medications such as antihistamines, beta-blockers, sleeping pills, pain relievers and many others. Overuse of diuretics can also play a role in developing dry eye. For this reason, it is very important to inform your ophthalmologist about any medications you are currently taking, which can help the doctor in the proper diagnosis of the disease.

Dry Eye symptoms may include:

  • A burning, stinging or stratchy sensation in the eyes.
  • Eyes may redden or become easily irritated by smoke or wind.
  • The eyes may produce stringy mucus.
  • Contact lenses may be difficult or impossible to wear.
  • Sometimes the eye will produce excess tears or overflow.

Treatment for Dry Eye:

  • Artifical Tears: Mild to moderate cases of dry eye syndrome may be treated by applying artificial tear eye drops as little or as often as necessary. There are a wide range of products available without a prescription that the doctor can recommend.
  • Prescription Medications: For those with chronic dry eye, these drops can increase the eye's natural production of tears. It does this by targeting inflammation in the eye.
  • Conserving Tears: An effective way to make better use of the tears in the eye is surgery to close the tear ducts, thus preventing existing tears from leaving the eye as quickly. This may be done temporarily, with punctal plugs made of collagen, or permanently with silicone plugs or by cauterizing the tear ducts closed.
  • Controlling One's Enviornment: Patients should avoid situations in which tears evaporate quickly; for example, by using a humidifier in a dry house, wearing wrap-around glasses in the wind, and not smoking.
  • Dry Eye Exam

    At Olympus your Salt Lake City opthalmologist will take a holistic look at your eye health to construct a personalized treatment plan that will meet your needs, address any dry eye symptoms, and ensure your vision health for years to come. We perform a comprehensive eye health screening, which allows us to diagnose and address eye conditions at the earliest sign. Early detection lets us begin corrective measures in time to prevent additional deterioration. Schedule your vision exam at our Salt Lake City eye clinic today.