What is Dry Eye Syndrome?

Many people suffer from Dry Eye without even knowing it. If you constantly feel like there is something in your eye or a scratchy sensation, you could have dry eye disease. Dry eye typically stems from insufficient tear production or poor quality tears and can often be confounded by allergy symptoms. One over-the-counter treatment for dry eye disease is to use lubricating eye drops, but this is unsustainable and can dry you out more just like washing your hands too much. Dr. Pradhan can correctly diagnose your condition and give you the customized proper treatment you need to improve tear production and improve tear quality and improve your vision.

What is Dry Eye Syndrome?

As defined by the International Dry Eye Workshop or DEWS in 2007, dry eye is “. . . a multifactorial disease of the tears and ocular surface that results in symptoms of discomfort, visual disturbance, and tear film instability with potential damage to the ocular surface. It is accompanied by increased osmolarity of the tear film and inflammation of the ocular surface.”

The new updated definition by the Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society (TFOS) in their recently released report called DEWS II was released in 2017. “Dry eye is a multifactorial disease of the ocular surface characterized by a loss of homeostasis of the tear film, and accompanied by ocular symptoms, in which tear film instability and hyperosmolarity, ocular surface inflammation and damage and neurosensory abnormalities play etiological roles.”

The new definition now changes dry eye from a syndrome to a disease. It also incorporates pain and a nerve-based cause of dry eye disease with an abnormal feedback loop both causing and perpetuating the cycle of worsening dry eyes. It again highlights the inflammatory component which can occur with both local and whole body inflammation as in diseases like rheumatoid arthritis which can make the eyes worse.

What is Dry Eye? Eyesmart Website
Sjogren’s Syndrome Foundation (Dry Eye and Dry Mouth)

What are the symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome?

  • blurry vision that comes and goes and can get better with blinking
  • watering of your eyes (may not be making the right type of tears)
  • dry eye feeling
  • eyes burning
  • eye irritation
  • eye fatigue or discomfort
  • gritty or sandy feeling in the eyes

Some of these symptoms can also be associated with allergies as well as exposure to dry weather conditions. In order to get a full evaluation of your symptoms you must see a dry eye specialist like Dr. Pradhan.

TFOS DEWS II Reports; The Ocular Surface Journal 2017; 15(3):276-628.

NIH Website on Dry Eye Disease

American Academy of Ophthalmology Website on Dry Eye Disease

Contact Eye Doctor MD Today!

In order to truly know if you are suffering from dry eye, you need to get your eyes examined by a Board Certified Opthamologist like Dr. Pradhan at her office in Richmond. Dr. Pradhan can give you a complete dry eye evaluation to help better determine why your eyes are so dry and what the best route will be to correct it. If you have more questions or would like to schedule an appointment at Eye Doctor MD, please contact our office today!