Saturday, October 24, 2009

Dry Eye or Ocular Surface Disease

In speaking about this subject, I feel the key is the word disease in the title of this post. Patients in particular need to begin to think of this condition more seriously as a disease. It is probably close to the number one reason for patients coming in to all of our offices today. While artificial tears are certainly a part of our therapy regimen and in mild cases may be all that is needed, there are a host of other cases that require much more attention. The etiology of this condition can be various and therefore treatment must address sometimes a variety of problems. Last year I talked about fish oil which remains an important item in our treatment regimen. The amount of fish oil is important. For maintance doses one should be taking 2 grams of EPA and DHA within the fish oil. With lid disease and inflammation one needs 3.5 to 4 grams of Omega 3. So if you are shopping for fish oil be sure you are getting high concentrations. Pro Omega and Lifeguard are 2 such products that offer these higher concentrations.
Sometimes good old fashioned warm compresses can help greatly with lid disease management. Cyclosporin or restasis is another drug which has become an important part of our treatment regimen. Very low dose doxycycline over a long period of time has become a great treatment option and is available in a kit form called Alodox with all of the other items one need.
If you are a patient with arthritis or other conditions with persistent dry eye problems talk to your doctor about getting a dry eye work up.