Q: Are there some every day activities that can cause Dry Eye?
A: Having heaters or fans that blow in your face, not drinking enough water or eating enough fruits & vegetables, smoking, wearing contact lenses that aren't a good match for your eyes, and using a computer for a long time without remembering to blink, can exacerbate dry eye symptoms.
Q: What are Scleral Contact Lenses?
A: Scleral lenses are custom made lenses that rest on the sclera, the whites of your eyes. The size of the lens offers great vision that isn't possible with any other vision solution. These lenses provide a solution for those patients who can't wear other types of contact lenses due to dry eyes, complications from LASIK surgery, kerataconus, and other eye issues.
Q: My eyes are always burning and tired, what is causing this and what can I do about it?
A: Tired, burning, and irritated eyes are signs of dry eye syndrome, a very common condition. Women are more prone to developing dry eyes, and aging is a risk factor too. Eye dryness is often due to a decrease in the oil production in our eyelid glands, which causes the tears to evaporate too quickly. Certain medications and health issues can also contribute to dryness. There is no true cure for dry eye, but many treatments are available such as the use of artificial tears, Omega 3 nutritional supplements, prescription medications such as Restasis, and eyelid hygiene. Our eye doctors customize the treatments for each person and their specific condition.
Q: How do I know if I have Dry Eye?
A: Dry eye syndrome can only be diagnosed by an eye doctor. We take your symptoms into account, including the eyes feeling dry, burning, itchy or irritated. Watery eyes and blurry vision are also common because the tears, which protect the outermost surface of the eye, can be unstable.
Q: Is Dry Eye more severe in the winter than in the warmer spring and summer months?
A: It's unclear. Dry Eye Syndrome (DES) is a chronic multi-factorial disease process in which signs and symptoms don't always correlate with one another. Some patient may be more sensitive in certain seasons than others, depending on the humidity level, wind factor, working environment, and other variables. Screening for this common and chronic condition is crucial to maintaining a healthy and stable tear film, no matter the season, and should not be based on symptoms alone.
Q: What are some of the symptoms of Dry Eye?
A: There are numerous symptoms of dry eye disease, but the most common ones include excess tearing, lack of tearing, burning, redness, foreign body sensation, intermittently blurred vision, and an inability to tolerate contact lenses. If you have any of the above symptoms, and want a professional diagnosis, please make an appointment here.
Q: What is the examination like to determine whether someone is suffering from Dry Eyes?
A: A full dry eye evaluation may include a series of tests depending on initial signs and symptoms, systemic history, medication, and lifestyle. Most of these tests are non-invasive and painless. They can include using special colored dyes placed on the eyelid to assess severity, direct visualization of the oil glands to check for Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) or atrophy, and tear production analysis. The evaluation will be tailored to narrow down the specific cause of Dry Eye Syndrome.
Q: What is Keratoconus?
A: Keratoconus is a disorder of the anterior surface of the eye (the cornea). In simple terms, the cornea becomes thinner causing it to bulge from its normal round shape to a cone-like shape. This bulging interferes with a person's vision and can severely affect the way they see the world, making simple tasks like reading, watching TV or driving very difficult. The distortion caused by keratoconus has been compared to viewing a street sign through your car windshield during a driving rainstorm.
Q: What causes Keratoconus?
A: The characteristics of keratoconus have been known for at least 200 years, but the specific causes are still undetermined. Several theories have been proposed. One scientific theory is that keratoconus is genetic in origin. About 7% of patients have other family members with the disease. Another view holds that keratoconus is a degenerative condition perhaps linked to the altered balance between enzymes and inhibitors within the cornea. Keratoconus may also be secondary to some disease processes. A hypothesis has also been proposed that keratoconus may involve the endocrine system (hormones) since the condition is often diagnosed in young people at puberty or in their late teens. While the exact cause of keratoconus has not yet been determined, research into keratoconus continues and new treatment options are continually under development.
Q: Are some people more likely to develop Kerataconus?
A: The actual incidence of keratoconus is estimated to occur in 1 to 5 persons per 1,000 in the general population. Keratoconus is generally first diagnosed in young people at puberty or in their late teens but can also be first diagnosed in people in their 40's or 50's. Keratoconus has no known geographic, cultural or social pattern, however its incidence seems to be higher in isolated populations. With continuing improvements in diagnostic equipment and eye care practitioner training, more cases of keratoconus are being diagnosed and discovered.
Q: How would someone know if they have Kerataconus?
A: In its early stages, keratoconus causes slight blurring and distortion of vision and increased sensitivity to glare and light. As the disorder progresses, the degree of vision obtained through glasses becomes less acceptable and contact lenses often become the best method of correcting vision problems.
Q: What consequences can occur if Keratoconus is left untreated?
A: The progression of keratoconus is unpredictable, but generally the condition progresses slowly and can cease at any stage. While keratoconus interferes with the clarity of a person's sight it, rarely causes blindness. Most people can successfully manage their condition using special keratoconus contact lenses, however in a small number of cases where the cornea can no longer successfully be fitted with contact lenses, a corneal transplant may be needed.