Dr. Reckell explains what people should know about dry eye.
Dry eye is a condition where we either have reduced volume of tears or poor quality of tears. So there’s two different forms of dry eye. It does affect women more than men because of hormonal changes. So as we age, dry eye affects women much more drastically than it does men.
So it should be analyzed and it is something that there are many forms of treatment for. Dry eye will affect the quality of the vision, will reduce the quality of the vision, cause fluctuating vision. It will also affect the way our eyes feel. it can be a constant nuisance to have irritation of the eye.
The eyes, there are three layers of the tears – aqueous layer, a mucin layer, a lipid layer and dry eye can be that we don’t produce enough of these layers of the eye or poor function of the tear gland. If that’s the case, there can be mild, moderate or severe cases. With mild to moderate cases we can just treat with the appropriate over-the-counter lubricants but again, is it volume or is it quality?
So if it’s volume there are certain products to use. If it’s quality, meaning we don’t have enough oil, then there are different products to use to improve the oils. Now in more severe cases there are actual prescription medications that we can be prescribed properly that will stimulate our own tear glands to produce more of our own natural tears. I really like that form of treatment. That is a medication called Restasis® and I actually use Restasis® myself.
I am going to be 50 this summer and age is a condition that affects my quality and volume of tears. So I use both the over-the-counter products and the prescription products, but every patient is different and it’s best to find out rather than going with the hit and miss, you know, “Let me try this product or that product” and wasting your time and energy of really something ineffective, to be seen by a doctor, find out really more specifically what’s going to treat you and a have a very effective result of improving the comfort of your eyes and the quality of your vision.
About Dr. Susan Reckell, O.D.:
Dr. Susan L. Reckell graduated from Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris University in 1984. She holds optometry licenses in Arizona and Michigan. With more than 23 year of experience, she currently works as an optometrist at Riviera Opticare Inc.