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Dry Eye Syndrome
Do You Suffer From It?

If you work on a computer or play video games more than one hour per day, or are female, or over 65, or take medications regularly, you may suffer Dry Eye Syndrome.

Most people haven't heard of Dry Eye Syndrome, although it is the most common of all eye problems. Almost everyone assumes that gritty, red, watery eyes are just part of life. They're amazed that they can actually do something about it.

How many people have Dry Eye Syndrome?

According to the Eagle Vision-Yankelovich poll, one out of every five, or 59 million Americans, may be suffering from Dry Eye Syndrome!*

Your eyes don't have to feel dry to have Dry Eye Syndrome.

Ten years ago, Dry Eye Syndrome was primarily a senior/adult medical problem. With the increasing use of computers, dry eye is affecting younger people in greater numbers. Once a rarity, we are now seeing significant numbers of children with Dry Eye Syndrome, due to increasing time staring at television, video games and computers.


Risk Factors

There are certain factors that contribute to Dry Eye Syndrome, although both men and women of any age may experience it.

Aging: Advancing age is the single most important risk factor for Dry Eye. Dry Eye Syndrome affects 75% of people over age 65.

Computer and Video Game Users: Computer users spend hours staring at their monitors ignoring their normal blinking process, which is a vital function of tear production. Typically, computer users blinking rate is decreased by 70%. If you use a computer for more than one hour a day, your eyes will be affected. Children and young adults are now being diagnosed with Dry Eye Syndrome with increasing frequency due to increasing computer, video game, and television use.

Disease: Several diseases result as side effects of Dry Eye Syndrome: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Diabetes, Thyroid Abnormality, Asthma, Cataracts, Glaucoma, Lupus and Rosacea.

Medications: Certain medications can decrease the body's ability to produce lubricating tears: Anti-Depressants, Decongestants, Antihistamines, Blood Pressure Medication, Oral Contraceptives, Diuretics, Ulcer Medication, Tranquilizers, Beta Blockers and Incontinence Therapies.

Contact Lenses: Dry Eye is the leading cause of contact lens discomfort or intolerance. Soft contacts in particular, rapidly evaporate the tears from the eye causing irritation, protein deposits, infection, and pain.

Environmental Conditions: Exposure to Smoke, Fluorescent Lights, Air Pollution, Wind, Heaters, Air Conditioning, and Dry Climates, can increase tear evaporation.

Refractive Surgery: Candidates considering refractive surgery (i.e. RK, PRK, LASIK, LTK) should consult their eyecare professional regarding any dry eye risks associated with the procedure.

Treatment of Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry Eye Syndrome can damage your vision, effect your ability to see clearly and wear contact lenses.

There is no known cure for Dry Eye Syndrome although you can relieve the symptoms and reduce your chances of complications. Our doctors can perform a simple, in-office diagnostic test to evaluate the quality and quantity of your tears. General health, medications and environmental factors will be a consideration in diagnosing the dry eye.

Depending on the cause, Dry Eye Syndrome can be treated as a temporary problem or a lifelong disease requiring long-term treatment. Either way, tears must be conserved and/or replaced in order to provide relief.

* 1997 Eagle Vision-Yankelovich Partner Survey

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