Dry Eye Disease is a chronic and progressive disease, meaning it affects sufferers on a daily basis, and will continue to advance if not sufficiently treated. Below is a detailed look at each of the four stages of Dry Eye Disease, as identified by Sanjay N. Rao, MD, and suggested treatment regimens.
Chronic Dry Eye Disease is a condition of the eye in which an insufficient amount of tears are produced, or the quality of the tears produced is poor and they evaporate too quickly. The result? Dry, itchy, burning eyes! Unfortunately, millions of people around the world suffer from chronic dry eye. And, given the nature and definition of a chronic disease, it is an incurable condition. However, with the right products and care, chronic dry eye disease can be easily managed and tolerated.
Although contact lenses do not directly cause dry eye disease, they are one of the leading causes of further irritation to your eyes after the disease has developed. They can, however, cause contact lens-induced dry eye, a condition that causes similar symptoms caused by the chronic disease. If you are a lense wearer who also suffers from dry eye symptoms, learning how to manage the irritation and pain that this combination may cause you should take top priority.
One of the primary causes of chronic dry eye disease is tear hyperosmolarity. The Definition and Classification Subcommittee of the 2007 International Dry Eye Workshop defines dry eye disease as “a multifactorial disease of the tears and ocular surface that results in symptoms of discomfort, visual disturbance, and tear film instability with potential damage to the ocular surface. It is accompanied by increased osmolarity of the tear film and inflammation of the ocular surface.”
Although perhaps it seems obvious, there is a significant correlation between abnormal blink rate and chronic dry eye disease. Many patients with a decreased blink rate complain of suffering from typical dry eye symptoms, such as burning and itchiness. Interestingly, but not surprisingly, the correlation between dry eye and lowered blink rate is becoming more and more prevalent as certain kinds of eye strain, such as the overuse of computer screens, gains traction around the world.
Chronic dry eye affects millions of people all over the US and the world. The condition arises when the tears do not provide enough moisture to the eyes. There are two primary affectations of the disease: aqueous tear deficiency (also called keratoconjunctivitis sicca), in which the eyes don’t produce enough tears; and excessive evaporative loss, in which tears evaporate faster than normal. When tears can’t effectively protect the surface of the eye, dry spots are created that cause pain and irritation. Both types of chronic dry eye produce symptoms that are important to recognize and treat.
For millions of people around the country, managing chronic dry eye disease can be a huge inconvenience to their everyday lives. Just as chronic pain treatment often involves at-home therapy, chronic dry eye must also be tended to on a regular, individual basis. Bruder Healthcare has developed products and technologies that make at-home care easy, effective, and simple.