Q: My eyes often burn, feel scratchy and appear red. I was told that my eyes are “dry”. What is dry eye and how can it be treated?
A: Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), also known as “dry eye syndrome”, is a common chronic condition that affects many people. It is an ocular surface problem that can become quite bothersome for most people. People with dry eyes either do not produce enough tears or have poor quality of tears. When the eye blinks, the surface of the eye gets coated with tears. The tear film lubricates the eyes, acts as protective barrier against foreign matter and smoothes the eye to keep the cornea clear and regular. When the tear film is compromised, a patient’s eyes can easily become irritated and feel scratchy when the eyelid is rubbing against a rough and irregular corneal surface. Some common signs and symptoms for dry eyes include: burning, itchiness, foreign body-like sensation (like a grain of sand) and tearing.
There are multiple factors that can cause dry eyes. Some causes of dry eye include but are not limited to: Age, hormonal changes, autoimmune diseases, thyroid disease, certain medications (like anti-histamines and others), and certain environmental conditions. Currently there is no cure for dry eye syndrome; there are only treatments. Adding artificial tears, conserving tears with miniature plugs, increasing tear production, and treating eye inflammation are ways to treat dry eyes. If a patient suspects that they have dry eyes, they should consult their eye doctor who will evaluate their tear film and discuss treatment options.
Dr. Kajoshaj is a residency trained and board certified eye doctor who works at Berke Eye Care and provides patients with VIP comprehensive eye care including prescriptions for glasses, emergency eye care and dilated exams to screen for eye disease. He also participates in the use of Prokera®, a therapeutic contact lens made out of human amniotic tissue which is used to treat severe ocular surface disease. He is a member of the American Optometric Association (AOA) and Nassau County Optometric Society (NCOS).
Berke Eye Care is located in Westbury, NY and specializes in Premium Lens Implant and Cataract Surgery, Laser Cataract Surgery, Laser treament of Glaucoma and Vitreous Floaters. Berke Eye Care offers the highest quality Eye Care with the best and newest technology available.