Dry eye occurs when people don’t produce enough tears or the right quality of tears to keep their eyes healthy and comfortable. In the early stages, the symptoms seem to appear and disappear and generally worsen as the day progresses.
While dry eye often occurs during the natural aging process, it can be the result of eyelid or blinking problems, certain medications such as antihistamines, oral contraceptives, antidepressants and others, the climate or the environment due to low humidity, wind, dust, injury and various health problems such as rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s Syndrome and others.
Dry eye symptoms usually include:
- Stinging or burning eyes
- Stringy mucus in or around the eyes
- Excessive eye irritation from smoke or wind
- Excess tearing
- Discomfort when wearing contact lenses
For most people, using artificial tears and/or prescription eye drops or ointments will bring relief. Using preservative free artificial tears is recommended.
Your doctor may prescribe Restasis Prescription Dry Eye Medication. RESTASIS® Ophthalmic Emulsion helps increase your eyes’ natural ability to produce tears, which may be reduced by inflammation due to Chronic Dry Eye. (RESTASIS® did not increase tear production in patients using anti-inflammatory eye drops or tear duct plugs.)
For others, the closure of the tear drainage system with punctal plugs may be necessary. The plugs work by temporarily blocking the tear drainage channel in the inner corner of the eye, which retain more moisture in the eye.