Dry Eye Syndrome
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Dry Eye Syndrome is considered a multi-factorial, chronic and progressive disease. There can be many root causes of the condition; therefore, it is important to have a thorough evaluation to discover what specifically may be contributing to your dry eye and to prescribe proper treatment.
Most have learned to live with eye discomfort and have become dependent on over-the-counter drops that offer only temporary relief. Most common symptoms include burning, watery, sandy and gritty feeling, and redness. In some cases, patients may have the condition without any symptoms at all!
We are beginning to understand that one component of Dry Eye Syndrome is an inflammatory process that causes damage to the ocular surface resulting in signs and symptoms.
There is another component to Dry Eye Syndrome that stems from eyelid structure and function. In this case, treatment must be targeted to improve oil secretions from glands that compose our eyelid structure, and to prevent further damage. The oils produced by these glands are essential for a healthy tear film and help to prevent quick evaporation of our tears after we blink. When glands are chronically inspissated or “clogged” with unhealthy oils, they begin to atrophy or die. Once the glands are gone they do not regenerate, further exacerbating dry eye symptoms. This is a chronic and progressive condition called Meibomian Gland Dysfunction or MGD.