DO YOU SUFFER FROM CHRONIC DRY EYES?
DRY EYE DISEASE (DED)
WHAT IS CHRONIC DRY EYE (DED)?
DED is a complex disease of the tears and ocular surface that results in symptoms of discomfort, visual disturbances and tear film instability. If left untreated, DED can damage the ocular surface.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS FOR DEVELOPING DED?
- CERTAIN MEDICATIONS ex. anti-histamines, anti-hypertensives, decongestants, diuretics, oral contraceptives
- CLIMATE - heat, air vents
- EXTENSIVE VISUAL TASKING ex.long hours at the computer
- AGE- Aging increases risk for DED development
- NUTRITION - diets too high in unhealthy omega-6 fatty acids and too low in healthy omega-3 fatty acids
WHAT CAUSES DED?
The main cause of DED is INFLAMMATION. Inflammatory cells in tears reduce the production of tears. This creates Tear Deficiency Dry Eye (less tears than normal). Inflammation also decreases the production of the oily layer of the tear film. This causes the watery layer of tears to evaporate too quickly (Evaporative Dry Eye).
HOW DO YOU TREAT DED?
TRADITIONAL DRY EYE TREATMENTS INCLUDE:
- Over the Counter Artificial Tears
- Hot Compress Massage
- Prescription eye drops
- Punctal Occlusion by punctual plugs
LIFESTYLE CHANGES MAY ALSO PROVIDE RELIEF
- Increasing dietary water intake
- Wearing sunglasses while outside and driving
- Turning off bedroom fans
- Increasing room humidity
- Stop smoking
Oftentimes, traditional treatments and lifestyle changes fail to provide relief from DED. This is due to excessive inflammation in the body. In these cases, the inflammation in the body must be decreased in order to treat DED. This is done by identifying possible sources of inflammatory conditions.
Possible sources of inflammation include:
- Food allergies
- Hormone imbalances
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Digestive tract disorders
- Mineral Deficiencies
- Environmental Toxicities
- Enzyme deficiencies
- Fatty acid (omega 3:6) imbalance
Balance (homeostasis) is thought to be key to controlling inflammation in the body.