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Dry eye syndrome is one of the most common conditions eye doctors treat on a daily basis, both here in the Hamilton and Princeton, NJ area and nationwide. It is a very common disorder, affecting approximately 30% of the population. Tears adhere to the surface of our eyes in order to protect and keep them moist. Dry eye is the result of either decreased tear production or increased tear evaporation.

There are multiple risk factors for dry eye. I find that environment plays one of the largest roles. Cold, dry winters, heaters and air conditioners, smoke, and dust are some of the factors that can aggravate dry eye. Certain medications such as antihistamines, beta blockers, and antidepressants can cause a decrease in tear production. Additionally, diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome, and lupus can have a severe impact on dry eye.

Patients with dry eye will experience symptoms such as a gritty or sandy feeling in their eyes, redness, blurry, fluctuating vision, and light sensitivity. Interestingly, patients may also experience tearing, which is a reflex secretion due to dryness.

In mild cases of dry eye where a patient has minimal symptoms, artificial tears used as needed provide relief. In more moderate to severe cases, patients will require regular use of artificial tears along with anti-inflammatory drops. RESTASIS® is a wonderful medicine for patients with moderate symptoms who need long-term treatment.

Dry eye is caused by inflammation of the glands that make tears, resulting in less production and a poor quality. RESTASIS helps to prevent this inflammatory process and improves the amount and quality of tears. Omega-3 supplements have also been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect on the eyes, allowing for better tear production. There is even a simple and easy procedure that can be performed in the office to block the tear ducts, which prevents tears from draining out of the eyes, keeping them moister.

Although a very common disease, dry eye can be very debilitating if left untreated. Fortunately, over the years, wonderful new medicines and therapies have arisen for treating dry eye. Patients who have dry eyes should feel reassured that with the appropriate treatment, their symptoms can be dramatically improved and even completely resolved.

Do you think you may have dry eye syndrome? I urge you to contact us to find out some strategies for improving your vision, your comfort, and your quality of life.

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Monroe Township
Outlook Eyecare
5 Centre Drive #1B
Monroe Township, NJ 08831
Phone: (609) 409-2777

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Outlook Eyecare
100 Canal Pointe Boulevard #100
Princeton, NJ 08540
Phone: (609) 419-1920

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