Dry Eye Syndrome

Chronic dry eye is a problem that affects many Americans every day, especially those 50 years and older. In fact, According to the National Institutes of Health, nearly 5 million Americans 50 and older experience severe dry eye symptoms and approximately 20 million have less severe symptoms. Fortunately, there are multiple ways to prevent and treat dry eye.

Symptoms and Causes of Dry Eye

Dry Eye occurs when your eyes do not produce enough tears to keep the eyes wet or there is something wrong with your tears. Eyes naturally have a three-layered tear film, with fatty oils, aqueous fluid, and mucus to keep the eyes lubricated and clear of debris. A problem with any of the three layers could result in dry eye. Those with dry eye experience burning, stinging, blurred vision, a gritty feeling like something is in the eye, red and irritated eyes, excessive tearing- especially with use or when outside, and sharp, stabbing pains. The symptoms of dry eye often worsen with use. Activities such as spending lots of time on the computer or reading could have an impact.

Dry eye is associated with multiple autoimmune diseases, including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and Sjogren’s syndrome. Other potential causes of dry eye include age and nerve sensitivity in the eyes caused by nerve damage or laser eye surgery. Certain medications can also worsen the effects of dry eye, including diuretics, allergy medications, anxiety medications, and heartburn medications.

Dry Eye Treatment

There are a number of treatment options available for those with dry eyes, including lifestyle adjustment, eye drops, and more. If you’re experiencing symptoms of dry eye, talk to a TPMG Ophthalmologist about potential treatment options. Call (757) 440-1144 to make an appointment today.

Tina E. Keasey, ATC/L, CSCS

About Dawnielle J. Kerner, MD

Dawnielle J. Kerner, MD, is a highly-skilled, board certified ophthalmologist with over 20 years of clinical experience. Dr. Kerner has a special interest in treating patients with glaucoma; this includes patients 12 years of age and older with congenital glaucoma. As an active member of several organizations, including the American Academy of Ophthalmology and The American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons, she is passionate about educating others on all types of vision and eye conditions. She is currently accepting new patients at her office, The Ophthalmology Center in Norfolk.

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