Dry Eyes

Your eyes constantly produce tears at a slow and steady rate so that they stay moist and comfortable. Tears are made of water, oil and mucous.  Any imbalance to these three components can cause irritation to the eye and/or vision distortions.  This condition is known as dry eye, and is very common in the state of Colorado.

Symptoms of dry eye include general irritation, scratchiness, tearing, stinging, stringy mucus in or around the eyes, and blurry vision.  Dry eye often increases with age as tear production slows. For women, this is especially true after menopause. Dry eye can be associated with other problems like Sjögren’s syndrome, which can cause dry eyes along with dry mouth and arthritis.  Dr. Haas can usually diagnose dry eye just by examining your eyes with fluoroscein (orange/yellow) eyedrops.

Treatments for dry eye include artificial tears or preservative-free artificial tears.  Other medicated drops, such as Restasis, can work to reduce inflammatory mediators within your tear film, and closing the channels through which your tears drain (eyelid puncta) with a punctal plug can be effective also. Omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish oil and flaxseed oil) are an important element in the formation of the oily portion of your tear film and may help symptoms too.

 

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