DRY EYE SYNDROME Dry Eye Syndrome is a condition in which the eye does not produce enough tears or produces poor quality tears causing discomfort, blurred vision, gritty or foreign body sensations, redness and watering of the eyes. The tear film helps to lubricate and nourish the front surface of the eye which helps to provide clear vision. Dry eyes can occur when tear production and/or drainage are not sufficient. Symptoms May Include: Redness Gritty or Foreign Body Sensation Watering Blurred Vision Burning Treatment for dry eye can vary depending on the severity of the symptoms. Artificial tear use is recommended up to 4 times a day to help re-lubricate the surface of the eye and to give immediate relief of symptoms. Punctal plugs are often used to block the lower tear ducts, stopping the lacrimal system from draining the eye’s natural tears too quickly and allowing them to remain available to the cornea for lubrication. Sometimes prescribed drops like Restasis or Xiidra are used to help the eye produce it’s own quality tears over time. These drops are used twice a day for extended periods of time to allow for full treatment and effectiveness, often in conjunction with artificial tear use. Dry Eye Self Care: Blink regularly, especially when reading or during extended computer use or screen time Increase humidity in home or work place with a humidifier Wear sunglasses when outdoors with ample coverage and wrap to prevent wind, and environmental exposure from increasing symptoms Add nutritional supplements like fatty acids into your daily intake – with your primary care doctor’s consultation and consent Increase water intake – stay hydrated by drinking 8-10 glasses of water a day Use artificial tears, which can be purchased over the counter, up to 4 times a day to increase lubrication in the eyes For evaluation of your dry eye symptoms, please contact our office to schedule a visit with one of our board certified ophthalmologists.