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What is Dry Eye Disease?

Dry Eye Disease is a disorder of the tear film due to tear deficiency or 

excessive tear evaporation which causes damage to the exposed eye 

surface. This results in blurred vision, red eyes, tired eyes and sometimes 

pain. The eye becomes dry because there is not enough tears produced 

or because there is abnormally high rate of evaporation of tears. The tear 

film consist of three main layers;  the outermost oily layer, the middle 

watery layer and the inner mucus layer. Dry Eye Disease causes a change  

in any one or all three of those layers.
What are the causes?

• Age and/or hormonal changes (especially after menopause)

• Diseases including Diabetes, Parkinson’s, Sjorgren’s disease, and  

 Rheumatoid Arthritis 

• Prescription meds such as high blood pressure, antihistamines, anti 

 depressants, anti-anxiety, sleeping pills, and some pain medications.

• Excessive computer or smart phone use.

• Contact lens use.

• Post Lasik surgery.
What are the symptoms?

• Light sensitivity

• A gritty sensation (scratchy eyes), or the constant feeling of a foreign  

 body or sand in the eyes

• Itching, redness, excessive tearing and/or painful/sore eyes

• Fluctuating vision

How is Dry Eye Disease Diagnosed?

During a comprehensive eye exam, 

the eye doctor looks for dry spots on 

the cornea and the conjunctiva (white 

part of the eye). Fluorescein dye is used to assess the tear film stability. 

Rose Bengal dye is used to stain any dead, devitalized cells of the eye 

surface due to dry eyes.
How Are Dry Eyes Treated?

Dry eyes cannot be cured, they can be treated. You should discuss treat-

ment options with an eye care specialist. Treatments may include:

• Artificial tear drops and ointments for mild Dry Eye.

• Punctal occlusion. Sometimes it is necessary to close the ducts that  

 drain tears out of the eye. Temporary plugs, then longer lasting  

 permanent plugs, can be considered.

• Restasis. FDA approved with a prescription for chronic dry eye,  

 eye drop Restasis is currently the only prescription eye drop to help  

 eyes increase their own tear production with continued use.

• Other medications, including topical steroids, may be beneficial in  

 some cases.

Dry Eye Disease

by Dr. Dipak R. Kalani

Dr. Kalani, O.D., a Shadow Creek resident, is an 

Optometrist and owner of Vision Source Family 

Eye Care.  For more information on healthy eye 

exams or to schedule an appointment, call today

713-436-7544, or request an eye exam online at  

www.visionsource-shadowcreek.com.

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