Everyone experiences the symptoms from time to time: burning, irritable eyes. The sensation that something is actually scratching the eye. But for some three million American women the symptoms are chronic, according to Dr. Elaine Happ, Optometrist. These women suffer from Dry Eye Syndrome
“Tears are essential for good eye health,” Dr. Elaine Happ said. “They lubricate the eye, protect it from infections and wash away allergens. With Dry Eye Syndrome, the eyes produce too few tears or tears of such poor quality that they don’t stay on the eye. Ironically, some people with Dry Eye Syndrome may actually experience tears running down their cheeks.”
Everyone experiences reduced tear production as they age, but women are more prone to Dry Eye Syndrome than men by a 3 to 1 margin. Studies have shown that hormone therapy may increase the incidence of Dry Eye Syndrome, as can birth control pills, blood pressure medicines, antihistamines and certain anti-depressants.
“April is Women’s Eye Health Awareness Month and we want women to know there are several options for managing Dry Eye Syndrome,” Dr. Elaine Happ said.
Those options include lubricating drops that can minimize the dry, scratchy sensation and prescription eye drops that can actually increase tear production.
“Through a procedure called lacrimal occlusion, we can also temporarily or permanently close the tear ducts to prevent tears from draining away to quickly Dr. Elaine Happ said.
Dr. Elaine Happ practices at Uptown Eye Care located at 560 Cedar Street Mall in Monticello and is a member of Vision Source, the nation’s number one network of private practice optometrists. Founded in 1991, The Vision Source network includes more than 1,500 offices in all 50 states and in Canada.