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Drying Eyes

Maintaining optimal eye health by understanding dry eye along with prevention and treatment

Article by River Oaks Lifestyle Staff

Photography by Courtesy of Today's Vision - River Oaks

Originally published in River Oaks Lifestyle

According to the National Eye Institute (NEI), about 16 million Americans have dry eyes. Most cases of dry eyes are being under or misdiagnosed even during routine eye exams. We spoke with Dr. Yvonne Jenkins with Today's Vision River Oaks to find out more.

What is dry eye?

A common condition that occurs when there is insufficient tear film production, draining, or quality needed to maintain the eye’s health.  

What are the most common causes and risk factors of dry eye?

  • People 50 or older 

  • Certain auto-immune diseases, such as Sjogren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, thyroid disorders, and many others

  • Eye lids inflammation and infections 

  • Women who are pregnant, on certain birth control, hormone replacement therapy, or experiencing menopause

  • Environmental conditions contributing to allergies, drier climates, or windy, smoky, and dusty areas

  • Certain medications

  • Refractive eye surgeries

  • Computer users and insufficient blinking 

What are the symptoms of dry eye?

  • Foreign body sensation of grittiness, sandy feeling, itchiness, stinging, and burning 

  • Extreme sensitivity to light and smoke

  • Redness, inflammation, stringy mucous and watery eyes

  • Vision fluctuation

  • Contact lens intolerance

What are the preventions of dry eye?

  • Continuous hydration of water is most essential (and less alcohol)

  • Eye protection from wind, dust, and smoke with proper eye wear

  • Frequent blinking, especially when on any digital devices, computers or watching TV

  • Plenty of sleep

What are the treatments of dry eye?

  • Depending on the severity: 

  1. Mild dry eye: over the counter preservative – free artificial tears

  2. Moderate to severe dry eye:  Prescription anti-inflammatory 0.05% Cyclosporine eye drops, autologous and /or allogenic serum eye drops (from your own or a donor blood serum and plasma), eye lids cleaning products, warm compresses, antioxidants and Omega-3 supplements, new innovative FDA approved in office procedures and instruments.

If you think you may have dry eye, please call Today's Vision at 713-640-2020 or visit their website at todaysvisionriveroaks.com to request a comprehensive evaluation and treatment.

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