Dry eye syndrome is one of the most common problems treated by eye physicians. Over ten million Americans suffer from dry eyes. It is usually caused by insufficient production of the tears from the tear glands or a problem with the quality of the tear film caused by persistent inflammation of the oil glands (blepharitis) or mucus, and/or tear glands (Sjogren's). The most common symptoms are itching, burning, redness, irritation, blurred vision, foreign body sensation, and excessive tearing. 

One of the most common reasons for dryness is simply the normal aging process. As we grow older, our bodies produce less oil - 60% less at age 65 then at age 18. This is more pronounced in women, who tend to have drier skin then men. The oil deficiency also affects the tear film. Without as much oil to seal the watery layer, the tear film evaporates much faster, leaving dry areas on the cornea. 

Many other factors, such as hot, dry or windy climates, high altitudes, air-conditioning and cigarette smoke also cause dry eyes. Many people also find their eyes become irritated when reading or working on a computer. Stopping periodically to rest and blink keeps the eyes more comfortable. 

Contact lens wearers may also suffer from dryness because the contacts absorb the tear film, causing proteins to form on the surface of the lens. Certain medications, thyroid conditions, vitamin A deficiency, and diseases such as Parkinson's and Sjogren's can also cause dryness. Women frequently experience problems with dry eyes as they enter menopause because of hormonal changes. 

A thorough eye examination of the ocular surface typically determines the source of the dryness and directs the type of treatment. For mild cases, usually artificial tears are recommended to used on a regular basis. Preservative-free tears are recommended because they are the most soothing and have fewer additives that could potentially irritate. Products that "take the red out" should be avoided since they don't have adequate lubricating qualities and often make the problem worse. The tear ducts can also be blocked with plugs either temporarily or permanently. Warm compresses and beta 3 omega fatty acids, such as flax seed oil and fish oil, help strengthen the oily component of the tear film. A prescription drop called Restasis is also sometimes used to reduce the inflammation of the tear producing cells subsequently leading to production of more and better quality tears. 
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Office Hours:

​8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. M-F

Office Phone(501) 224-4701

Office Fax(501) 224-1003​

Optical Line(501) 224-4359

Dry Eyes

​​Deer Eye Clinic

 Ophthalmology Group

Office Hours:

​8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. M-F

Office Phone(501) 224-4701

Office Fax(501) 224-1003​

Optical Line(501) 224-4359