Search for tag: "dry eyes"
From Nathan Tanner on July 1st, 2014
Dry eye is an irritating problem that seems to get worse when the weather changes. But the primary cause of itchy, red eyes is looking at electronic screens. On today's Health Minute, Dr. Jeff…
September 8th, 2021
Interviewer: If you have dry eyes, how you know it can be a real irritating problem. Dr. Jeff Pettey, first of all, what causes dry eyes?
Dr. Pettey: Dry eye can be a problem anywhere we live, mainly because of things like electronic devices. Whenever we're on our computers, on our smartphones, or even reading a book, we don't blink as often. Our eyes become uncomfortable as they dry out, they get red, irritated. Those are the signs of dry eye. Particularly around the turn of the seasons as well, winter, summer, being outdoors, that can also make dry eye worse.
Interviewer: So if somebody has dry eyes, how can they find relief?
Dr. Pettey: The mainstay of treatment is going to be over the over-the-counter artificial tears, similar to treating dry lips with ChapStick, dry skin with lotion. Using over the-counter-tears can prevent dry eye from happening and it can also be our treatment.
Dry eye is an irritating problem that seems to get worse when the weather changes. But the primary cause of itchy, red eyes is looking at electronic screens. Learn the causes of dry eyes and the best method to treat it.
Dry, itchy eyes are a common condition for many people. But when that itchy, sandy sensation becomes chronic what’s the best way to relieve it? On today's Health Minute, ophthalmologist …
April 22nd, 2021
Interviewer: Dry eyes. Ophthalmologist Dr. Amy Lin, if somebody comes to you with that problem what do you recommend?
Dr. Lin: So dry eye is a very common condition that I see, and the symptoms of it include a sandy sensation in your eyes, redness, fluctuating vision during the day, and tearing. And there a lot of treatments out there for them, but one of the best actually is artificial tears or eye drops. They can get non-prescription, and you want to look for eye drops that are specifically made for dry eyes.
Please do not get eye drops that take the red out or for allergies. Those are not going to treat dry eyes. And you want to put the drops in about two to four times a day for at least a couple of weeks, and if you do not see any improvement whatsoever, I'd recommend that you see your eye care professional, and they may recommend other treatments to improve your symptoms.
What's the best way to treat chronic dry, itchy eyes?
When you’re staring at a computer screen all day, you don’t blink as often and your eyes dry out faster. Dr. Leah Owen from the Moran Eye Center talks about the 20-20-20 program, a…
June 30th, 2014
Announcer: Medical news and research from University Utah Physicians and Specialists you can use for a happier and healthier life. You're listening to The Scope.
Interviewer: Dr. Owen you're here today to tell us about a new initiative going on here at the Moran Eye Center encouraging people to rest their eyes. What can you tell me about it?
Dr. Owen: Well, we see a lot of patients coming in with eye strain, eye fatigue, and certainly dry eye in this dry climate, and so our new initiative is termed 20-20-20, and it's something that's actually going on all over the country, but it's just to help remind patients that when we do a lot of focused work, including computer work and reading work, we don't blink as often. It's difficult to remember to blink, but it's easier to remember that every 20 minutes to try and look up, look 20 feet away, focus on something in the distance for about 20 seconds, and that allows your eyes to rest. It allows you to blink more normally and moisturize the surface of your eyes and that will alleviate a lot of the eye strain, eye fatigue, eye irritation, and eye dryness that you might experience otherwise.
Interviewer: You mentioned eye dryness. What causes that condition, and do we have more of it here in Utah than other places in the country?
Dr. Owen: There are a lot of causes of eye dryness. There's quite a spectrum so if you have significant concerns about eye dryness, I would see a professional, an eye doctor in the clinic, but in general, we do have a greater proportion of people with dry ocular surface because we're in such a dry climate. In general, people develop dry eyes when there's an imbalance between either the amount of tear that they're making to wet their ocular surface or an inability of their tears to adequately moisturize the surface of their eyes. Often we will prescribe artificial tear drops, which are available over the counter, and they're a way that you can replenish some of the tear on the surface of your eye to keep in more continually moisturized so your body isn't trying to compensate for all of this dryness by itself.
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You might think dry eye disease is a result of simply having a lack of tears. The condition is actually an inflammatory disease. Dr. Majid Moshirfar explains the causes of dry eye disease —and…
October 8th, 2013
Host: Fall? Dry eye season? What do you do about it? First of all, we're going to find out what causes it. Second of all, we're going to find out what you can do about it, including maybe some things you've never heard of before.
Announcer: Medical news and research from University Utah physicians and specialists you can use for a happier and healthier life. You're listening to The Scope.
Host: We're talking to Dr. Majid Moshirfar from the Moran eye center. So tell me, dry eye syndrome. I know this seems like a simple question and a silly question but, what is it?
Dr. Majid Moshirfar: No, there is no silly question. Indeed, dry eye syndrome, or what people call dry eye disease, is an inflammatory disease process. Very interestingly, we all thought that if somebody had a dry eye, it simply meant that they have insufficiency of their tear film. That was the naive thinking that we all had in the 1960's and 1970's and 1980's. But thanks to some very good clinicians and symposiums, now we believe that dry eye disease is an inflammatory process that happens on the surface of the eye on the ocular surface.
Host: That's interesting. It's a disease; it's not just a condition.
Dr. Majid Moshirfar: No, it is actually a disease.
Host: So, redefining what it is really probably redefines what I would do about it. I would think, if I have dry eyes, I go to the store, I get some eye drops. I keep dropping them until I feel better.
Dr. Majid Moshirfar: And that's actually the wrong that you can do. Because when you go into the store and you look in the hygiene section and look at the eye section, and you choose some of those artificial tears, that's what you're talking about. Some of those artificial tears, many of them actually have preservatives in them. And if you keep putting those artificial tears with the preservative inside your eye, you're actually going to create a secondary allergic reaction to the preservatives that are inside it.
Host: You're making it worse.
Dr. Majid Moshirfar: Yes. You did the right thing by choosing artificial tears, but you have been putting in tears that have a lot of preservatives in them and that is not the right thing to do. You need to look for artificial tears that are preservative-free.
Host: And those are okay?
Dr. Majid Moshirfar: Those are absolutely what we recommend our patients, that's our first line of defense against dry eye disease.
Host: So then would you, if you had dry eye disease and this is the first line of defense, is this something that you would use for the rest of your life then, or just as...
Dr. Majid Moshirfar: It's very interesting, because it's just like any disease, any prevention that we can do. I think nowadays medicine is about prevention and about educating. If you see my patients who are in their 30s and 40s, if these individuals approached them nicely in the beginning, all you need is maybe one or two drops a day. Maybe in the morning and maybe in the afternoon. But when you see somebody who is 80 years old, and they've had all these problems for years and years, they've already destroyed a lot of the surface integrity, a lot of those stem cells, a lot of those what we call goblet cells or mucocele cells. So what happens is that it's very important that we start tackling ocular surface inflammatory disease early on.
Host: I had Lasik done, and they did something. They plugged my tear ducts. Is that something that can be done?
Dr. Majid Moshirfar: Right. And as I told you, when people have dry eye disease because of whatever reason, whether it was Lasik, or thyroid eye disease. When you have a bad flu or pneumonia and you're taking a lot of sinus medications to get rid of your nasal congestion.
Host: What about foods that you eat? Could that cause dry eyes? Alcohol? Stuff like that?
Dr. Majid Moshirfar: Absolutely. Poor diet. I really really believe that people who have a very poor diet with a poor balance of their nutrition can have dry eyes. And I see this many times. Patients who come to me and they've been on a rigorous diet, to lose 50, 60, 100 pounds. And I see them, they actually develop what I call a secondary ocular surface dryness. So you need to have a well-balanced diet. We recommend a lot of our patients to take fish oil in order to improve the status of their tear film.
Host: Okay, so we talked about the proper eyedrops, without the preservatives, we've talked about possibly plugging the tear ducts which is something else that can be done. What are some other procedures if those aren't working?
Dr. Majid Moshirfar: One of the things that we do is first of all you need to catch the patients at the earlier stages of dry eye, and then -
Host: Yeah, because it gets worse as you go on.
Dr. Majid Moshirfar: Absolutely.
Host: I mean, if you don't catch this right away, it's just getting worse and worse.
Dr. Majid Moshirfar: It's like a patient who has a bad joint or a bad rheumatoid arthritis.
Host: That's new, that's news to me.
Dr. Majid Moshirfar: Yes. And so rheumatoid arthritis, if you don't take care of them, they get to a point where they need to have a total knee replacement and more. So it's important to catch that earlier stage. So to answer your question, we are very fortunate because now we have some medications that we actually prescribe by prescription that you can actually pick up from a pharmacy, and these medicines are very good at improving the secretion of your tear film. So we are actually not encouraging people just to use artificial tears. We actually make your own glands to make tears in your eyes. And one of them is called Restasis. We use very safe cortical steroids to put inside your eyes to encourage the secretion of your tear film and also reduce the inflammation of the ocular surface. So, yes, there are medications we can implement, there are punctal plugs, humidifiers at the working environment or at home, some little humidifier next to your bedside. A lot of these things can also help as well.
Host: And I read, this sounds crazy to me, about an implant that actually, you called it a little gummy bear.
Dr. Majid Moshirfar: That's right. They're called Lacrisert, and they're amazing. There are some patients that need this little tiny gel, almost like a little tiny capsule if you want to think about it. Like a very small, small, small, small gummy bear that you actually put underneath your lid. You tuck it underneath there, and it's like a little tiny capsule of gel that secretes a lubricating substance throughout the day and keeps your surface completely moist. And all you have to do is, you put this Lacrisert in at the beginning of the day, and it goes all the way, 24 hours. So they're very rewarding for some patients.
Host: Oh, so that's just something that a person puts in every day.
Dr. Majid Moshirfar: That's right. Yes.
Host: So I go into my eye doctor, what do I need to tell them so they know what I'm talking about?
Dr. Majid Moshirfar: First of all, I think when you see your doctor, most of the eye care physicians are very astute about this. They know what to do, they have some tests.
Host: It's a fairly common thing now.
Dr. Majid Moshirfar: Yes. As a matter of fact, 80% of most ophthalmologic visits, one of the complaints that the patients have is in a way related to ocular surface dryness. Now maybe not the disease, but a mild spectrum of that.
Announcer: We're your daily dose of science. Conversation, medicine. This is the Scope. University of Utah Health Sciences Radio.