Dry eye disease is an important reason for eye irritation and decreased vision. It is commonly missed or poorly diagnosed by general doctors as well as eye care providers. The physicians at Nashua Eye Associates are well trained in managing dry eye, and offer an array of treatment plans that are tailored to the type and severity of disease.
Patients may describe many symptoms related to dry eye. Some patients have more common symptoms of burning, redness, and irritation. Many symptoms, however, may not be obviously caused by dryness. For example, some patients complain of subtly blurry vision that might worsen with reading or computer work. Other patients may have sudden eye pain that is worse in the morning. Still other patients might complain of tearing as their primary symptom of dry eye.
What doctors and patients alike have come to call “dry eye disease” may be a poor description of the real underlying problem responsible for symptoms. A better term is “tear film deficiency”. Most patients with so-called “dry eye” produce enough quantity of tears, but rather the problem is the quality of tears. The tears may evaporate quickly, may not coat the eye well, or may contain inflammatory factors. This poor quality of tears is responsible for most patients’ symptoms.
Nashua Eye offers many treatment options for dry eye. Most dry eye patients use one of the many artificial tears available in pharmacies and supermarkets. Some patients with severe dry eye benefit from minimally blurring, preservative-free, viscous lubricating drops available at Nashua Eye offices. Dry eye patients may also benefit from temporary or permanent occlusion of the tear drain, which allows tears to remain on the surface of the eye longer for lubrication. Other treatments include prescription Restasis, oral prescription and nutritional supplements, and thorough eyelid care.