Dry Eye disease affects approximately 77 million patients, predominantly women over 35 years of age. Dry Eye Disease, or Dysfunctional Tear Syndrome, occurs when eyes don’t produce the right amount or the correct composition of tears. As with many conditions there may be be an inflammatory or infectious cause. If left untreated ,dry eye can damage the delicate tissues of the cornea leading to discomfort and/or impaired vision.
Dry Eye may be associated with hormonal changes associated with aging, pregnancy, and/or menopause. It is often associated with medical conditions such as arthritis, lupus, diabetes, and sjogrens syndrome. Many medical therapies such as decongestants, antihistamines, diuretics, oral contraceptives, antipsychotics, and chemotherapeutic agents can exacerbate dry eye. Environmental, occupational, and lifestyle factors, such as smoking, dry air, dust, contact lenses. and prolonged computer use, can trigger symptoms as well.
Patients that have any of the following symptoms may have dry eye disease and should be evaluated:
* Blurry vision
* Red, sore, or burning eyes
* Sandy, gritty feeling
* Watery or excessive tearing (epiphora)
* Contact lens discomfort
Dr. Jeffrey Sterling practices in Greenville, North Carolina at the Arlington Boulevard location. He has also formed the Dry Eye Center at Doctors Vision Center where he evaluates and treats patients for dry eye disease.