Tears are very important for the eyes for a number of reasons. They not only act as a natural lubricant, but also as a cleanser, keeping away and washing out dust, debris, and foreign objects. It also functions as an antibacterial, neutralizing any microorganisms that take residence on the eye's surface.
When tear production is insufficient, it can create many problems for the eyes. Not only are dry eyes uncomfortable, they are also more prone to injury and infection.
In incidental cases of dry eyes, other-the-counter eye lubricants are all that are required to ease the discomfort. When the body cannot produce enough tears, or when tears are drained or evaporated too quickly, this condition is known as Dry-Eye Syndrome.
Symptoms of dry-eye syndrome include:
Burning, gritty, stinging sensation
Fatigue after reading for a minimal amount of time
Increased irritation from wind or smoke
Any person can suffer from dry-eye syndrome. Women are more prone to the condition than men, however, as are the elderly. Dry-eye syndrome can develop as a result of environmental conditions, systemic diseases, and contact lens wear. In addition, some over-the-counter and prescribed medications can cause dry-eye syndrome, including anti-depressants, antihistimines, and birth control pills.
To treat dry-eye syndrome, our doctors can prescribe Restasis, an artificial tear formula that contains special materials that not only lubricate and comfort the eye, but also encourage the eye to produce more tears.