Millions of Americans suffer from symptoms of dry eyes. This condition occurs when people do not produce enough tears or when the tears that are produced are not of the proper quality to keep the eye lubricated and comfortable. The symptoms of dry eye include: stinging or burning eyes, itchiness around the eyes, eye irritation from smoke or wind, excess tearing, and difficulty wearing contact lenses.
Dry eye can afflict both men and women at any age. However, many women are affected after menopause. Patients that experience dry eyes that are also associated with arthritis and accompanied by a dry mouth may have Sjogren's Syndrome. Some medications, such as diuretics, betablockers, antihistamines, antidepressants and sleeping pills, can cause dry eye as well.
Currently available treatment options include an extensive selection of artificial tear therapy. These options offer most patients temporary relief of symptoms, are used throughout the day and are readily available. Lubricating ointments, applied at bedtime, are commonly used for more severe cases. A minor, in-office procedure to close part or all of the tear drainage system of the eyes may be necessary for some patients. This closure assists in conserving natural tears that exist and artificial tears that are applied.
As a Corneal and External Disease Specialist, Dr. Bokosky has made the treatment of Dry Eye a substantial part of his work. Due to the great number of individuals afflicted with this condition, it remains a major focus of Eye Care of San Diego's clinical research team.