Diagnosis of Dry Eye
The diagnosis of dry eye is usually a clinical diagnosis. This means it is diagnosed often by the symptoms you report. At the Eye Surgery Institute, Dr. Stanley Grandon, Dr. Cindy Wang and I will take a complete history of your symptoms.
If you have dry eye you may often complain of burning, irritation, a foreign body sensation and /or fluctuating vision. The vision may blur up when you are reading, using your cell phone or on the computer for a long time.
I will perform a comprehensive eye examination including using various dyes to assess the surface of the eye. There are various other tests that can also be used to evaluate the quality of the tears in your eyes.
Treatment of Dry Eye
If your dry eye signs and symptoms are mild, I may recommend over the counter artificial tears to start. The artificial tears in a bottle (with preservative) can be used up to four times a day.
If necessary, I may recommend preservative free artificial tears that can be used more often. Preservative free tears may also be better if you are also on other drops for glaucoma.
For more moderate signs and symptoms of dry eye, I may also add a gel or night time eye ointment. I may also recommend a prescription dry eye medication called Restasis. Restasis can take several months to assess if it is helping you.
Other remedies for dry eye can include punctal plugs. This is when the opening of the tear duct (called the punctum) is partially blocked with a tiny insert. This will allow your natural tears or artificial tears to stay on the surface of your eye longer.
Blepharitis, Dry Eye and Ocular Allergies
If you have dry eye you may also have other associated problems that are contributing to your discomfort. I will examine your eye for inflammation of the eyelid margin which is called blepharitis. I will also assess for ocular allergies. These conditions need to be successfully treated to achieve ocular comfort.
When I treat you dry eyes, it is necessary to be patient. I usually tell my patients that “the problem did not happen overnight and it will not be better by tomorrow morning.” Also, it is important to remember that the is no cure for dry eyes. My goals are to treat you so that your feel at least 80% better over time. If you are suffering from burning, irritation, foreign body sensation and /or fluctuating vision give us a call for an appointment as other ocular problems can also cause similar symptoms at 313-582-8856.
Alaina Kronenberg, M.D.
Dearborn, Michigan 48126