What is Dry Eye Disease?

By Jonathan M. Frantz, MD, FACS

One of the most common clinical challenges faced in eye care is dry eye. Dry Eye Disease affects approximately 40 million people in the U.S. and less than 5 percent of the DED patient population has been diagnosed and is being treated, according to Healthcare Maintenance Organization’s data.

The lacrimal glands, located behind the upper eyelids, produce tears that moisten our eyes. When we blink, the eyelids spread a film of fresh tears across the eye and pump excess tears into the nasolacrimal duct or tear drain. Without this mechanism working correctly, dry eyes become a chronic problem.

When the lacrimal gland fails to produce enough tears, the surface of your eye dries out and often causes burning, stinging, and a sandy or gritty sensation. Artificial tears and lubricating ointments may help relieve dry eye symptoms. If these lubricants do not help, closing the tear drain may be helpful or in extreme cases surgery may be required to protect your eye.

If the lacrimal gland is working properly, but your tears do not drain through the tear duct because it is blocked, your eye may feel watery and tears may even overflow onto your cheek. In some cases, you may be able to simply apply warm compresses and and use antibiotic drops; but often, surgery to relieve the obstruction is the most effective treatment. Some of the symptoms of dry eye disease include;
• Redness
• Burning
• Itching
• Fluctuation in vision
• Feeling of sand or grit in the eye
• Contact Lens discomfort
• Light Sensitivity
• Watery eyes
• Tired eyes

Keeping up with the latest technology in the diagnosis and treatment of dry eyes, Frantz EyeCare is certified by TearLab as an “Accredited Dry Eye Center.” Certification indicates that we have demonstrated expertise and dedication to the most advanced technologies and treatments in the management of dry eye disease. Our team of doctors have extensive experience in the diagnosis and treatment of dry eye disease.
If you think you are suffering from the above symptoms, be sure to mention any dry eye concerns at your next visit so you can experience the TearLab Osmolarity Test. This test is the latest technology in diagnosing and analyzing the Osmolarity (salt content) of your tears. With the TearLab Osmolarity test, our doctors can measure and assess the health and stability of your tear film.

Treatment is prescribed based on the measurements from the TearLab. Treatments range from Omega 3 supplements, tear replacement drops, punctal plugs, anti-inflammatory drops, oral antibiotics and prescription strength artificial tears.

To learn more about Frantz EyeCare or to make an appointment online, visit www.bettervision.net or call the Naples office of Frantz EyeCare at 239.430-3939.

Jonathan M. Frantz, MD, FACS, is named in The Guide to America’s Top Ophthalmologists. He and his team of doctors at Frantz EyeCare offer a broad spectrum of patient-focused comprehensive care from eye exams and eyewear to bladeless laser cataract removal, bladeless WaveLight LASIK, treatment of eye diseases, eyelid surgery and facial cosmetic procedures with office locations in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Punta Gorda, Lehigh Acres, and Naples.

Frantz Eyecare

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