Patients come to me with one of several symptoms: burning, tearing, foreign body sensation, gritty/sandy feeling, redness, tearing, itching, blurred vision (corrected by blinking), and pain in their eyes. Symptoms are often exacerbated by wind, smoke, reading, watching television and/or computer use.
While there are other eye conditions that may cause any one of these symptoms, and proper diagnosis by an eye care professional is needed, the most common diagnosis is Dry Eye Syndrome. Dry Eye Syndrome is an ocular irritation due to deficiency in the quality and/or quantity of tears.
There are several causes of Dry Eye Syndrome: aging, hormonal changes (especially in post menopausal women), medications, contact lenses, contact lens solutions, environmental conditions, excessive computer use, as well as some systemic diseases.
The good news is that there is treatment for Dry Eye Syndrome. Depending on the severity and cause, an eye doctor will make the appropriate treatment plan.
— Contributed by Dr. Karen Perekalsky, OD