Thursday, February 17, 2011

Winter and Dry Eyes

Dry Eye Syndrome is common in winter because of cold, dry outdoor air and dry indoor heat.  "Symptoms include pain, blurred vision, a scratchy or burning sensation or even watery eyes as the eyes try to compensate for the dryness, explains Francis A. D'Ambrosio, Jr., M.D., Medical Director of D'Ambrosio Eye Care.

JoAnn C. Chang, M.D.
Dry eye can occur at any age, but is more common among older adults, especially post-menopausal women.  In some people, dry eye syndrome may be related to systemic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and collagen vascular diseases such as lupus, certain medications such as diuretics for high blood pressure, antihistamines for allergies and beta blockers for hpertension or heart conditions.

"Simple dry eye may require only some artificial tears and a furnace humidifier or room humidifier.  Today we have treatments for dry eye at include oral doxycycline to improve tear quality, punctal plugs (stoppers inserted into the tear tuct), topical steroids or typical cyclosporine (Restasis)", said D'Ambrosio Eye Care corneal specialist JoAnn C. Chang, M.D.  For most people, dry eye is simply a nuisance, but for some, severe dry eye can make you vulnerable to corneal infections, which can permanently affect your vision.  If you are bothered by dry eyes, please let us know so we can schedule a dry eye examination and consultation.