Dry eye affects many individuals. Symptoms include irritation, dryness, burning, light sensitivity, excess tearing, and blurred vision.
Women, particularly those over 50 years of age, typically experience dryness more often then men. Certain systemic conditions including some medications can also worsen dry eye. Constant near work, computer use and air quality may also impact dry eye.
Most cases can be treated with daily lid hygiene and the use of artificial tears. If eyes are extremely dry, a more customized treatment plan must be created. Frequent follow ups are important to ensure improvement of the condition and overall eye health.
A specialized contact lens called a scleral lens, may help in extreme cases of dry eye. The lens is large and made of a rigid, highly oxygen permeable plastic. Before inserting, the lens is filled up with a sterile saline solution. This layer of saline stays on the surface of the eye all day, nourishing the cornea and providing a healthy environment for dry spots to heal.