Welcome to The Advanced Dry Eye Institute which has been developed to use the latest diagnostic techniques and treatments for an underserved and under diagnosed population. It’s intent is to inform patients about an epidemic chronic ophthalmic condition which up to this point went unaddressed.
Dry eye is a condition which often goes undiagnosed and untreated, despite being a very prevalent and treatable disease. As the population ages, its prevalence is more than likely going to increase. Currently between 20 and 25 million Americans suffer from dry eyes. This includes 3.2 million women over the age of 50 and 15% of all Americans over age 65.
In order for our eyes to remain healthy, comfortable and give us clear vision, we must produce a normal quantity and quality of tears. Dry eye can have a substantial impact on the daily activities of individuals with the disease. Individuals who suffer from dry eyes have problems performing important visual activities such as night driving, reading, computer use and television viewing. People who suffer from severe chronic dry eye tend to be less productive at work and enjoy certain leisure activities less.
- Light sensitivity
- A gritty sensation
- A feeling of a foreign body or sand in the eye
- Ocular Fatigue
- Blurring and/or fluctuating vision
- Excessive tearing
- Gender (females are more affected than males)
- Menopausal hormone therapy
- Low omega-3 fatty acid intake
- Connective tissue/autoimmune diseases*
- LASIK surgery
- Certain medications
Other possible risk factors: Alcohol consumption, smoking, low androgen levels, dry environments and genetic predisposition.
*The most common diseases associated with dry eyes are
Sjogrens Syndrome, Ocular Rosacea and Arthritis.
During the course of you evaluation for dry eye you can expect some or all of these special tests. The tests will help in diagnosing dry eye and to rule out other causes of your discomfort. These tests include, but are not limited to:
1. Using a microscope to evaluate the health of the eyelids and the special glands along the lids will be preformed. The tear quality will be assessed along with subjective and objective assessment of the quantity of tears.
2. Special dyes will be used to measure the evaporation rate of tears and the health of the ocular surface.
3. The Phenol red thread test is used to asses the quantity of tears present.
Various treatments for dry eye exist and will be tailored to each individual patient, dependent upon the severity of the disease and symptoms caused by it. Available treatments can include:
· Over-The-Counter Artificial Tears – both preserved and non-preserved artificial tears exist in a myriad of types, thicknesses and brands.
· Prescription eye drops – Restasis is a prescription drop that helps your eyes produce more tears by reducing inflammation and lessening the need for artificial tears.
· Punctual occlusion – plugs can be painlessly inserted in your tear duct to reduce the flow of tears and increase moisture on the ocular surface.
· Vitamins and supplements – supplements, such as omega-3’s can be used in conjunction with other treatments as a long term solution to reducing dryness and increasing comfort.