What is Dry Eye?
Dry eye is 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 inflammation of the ocular surface and increased osmolarity of the tear film.
Dry eye is an extremely common condition that is often under diagnosed. Dry eye may range in severity from episodic symptoms of ocular discomfort, to a chronic condition requiring therapeutic intervention. Inflammatory mechanisms are believed to be one possible underlying cause of chronic dry dye. Currently, the diagnosis of dry eye is based upon a clinical exam and supported by some ancillary testing.
The prevalence of dry eye increases with age and is far more common in women. Other risk factors include the use of certain medications, autoimmune inflammatory diseases, contact lens wear, LASIK and refractive surgery, and menopause.
Dry Eye Disease and Inflammation
Dry eye disease is a condition in which there are insufficient tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. Tears are necessary for maintaining the health of the front surface of the eye and for providing clear vision. People with dry eyes either do not produce enough tears or have a poor quality of tears. Over time, a dysfunctional tear film may damage or scar the front surface of the eye, impair vision, and increase risk of infection. Dry eye is a common and often chronic problem.
Approximately half of symptomatic dry eye patients have clinically significant inflammation of the ocular surface. The InflammaDry test can determine the presence or absence of ocular surface inflammation. The InflammaDry test requires a small tear sample collected with a fleece that is gently dabbed along the lower eyelid. The test does not hurt, but some patients may experience slight discomfort. InflammaDry provides test results in 10 minutes; a positive result indicates the presence of ocular surface inflammation.
By using InflammaDry to “rule in” or “rule out” ocular surface inflammation, doctors can better determine the best and most appropriate therapy or combination of customized therapies for each patient. Patients with confirmed inflammation may benefit from anti-inflammatory therapy. Repeated InflammaDry testing after initiation of therapy can confirm if the patient response to therapy is adequate, or if additional therapy is required.
Who is a candidate?
• 18 years of age or older
• Patient voluntarily reported at least one (1) episode of any of the following ocular symptoms during the last month.
1. Burning or stinging
2. Sandy or gritty feeling
3. Foreign body sensation
5. Light sensitivity
6. Intermittent or fluctuating vision
7. Tired eyes
Contact Cape Fear Eye Associates Today
Regular eye exams are essential to maintaining the health of your vision and your body. At Cape Fear Eye Associates, your total well-being is our primary concern. To schedule an eye exam, contact our offices in Fayetteville today.