DALLAS, July 11, 2022 – July is National Dry Eye Awareness month and during the month, the Refractive Surgery Council (RSC) is using its patient education platform to remind people about the importance of talking with your eye doctor about dry eye symptoms, which can negatively impact vision and overall eye health.
Dry eye is the most common reason patients visit an eye doctor with approximately 16 million Americans suffering from symptoms made worse by digital device eye strain, contact lens wear and several systemic immune diseases. This prevalent eye condition impacts the surface of the eye, which contributes approximately two-thirds of the eye’s total focusing power. Dry eye conditions are irritating at best and truly damaging at worst resulting in blurred, fluctuating vision, inflammation, and even infections and scarring if left untreated.
“It is important to recognize your dry eye symptoms. If your vision fluctuates or your eyes feel scratchy, itchy, gritty, sandy, tearing or burning and you feel like they need lubrication throughout the day – you most likely have a dry eye problem,” said RSC Advisory Board member Sheri Rowen, M.D. of NVision Eye Centers in Newport Beach. “Dry eye can be the result of a combination of factors including the surface of your eye, tear production and quality, as well as your eyelids which have glands that produce oil to protect the tear film from evaporation. Today there are a wide variety of treatments and medications your eye doctor can provide to help address the root cause of dry eye.”
Maintaining the integrity of the surface of the eye is essential to the health of the eye, and its focusing power. Normal, healthy eyes have a pristine, high-quality tear film lubricating the cornea to support crisp, clear vision. Dry eye can impact a person’s quality of vision because it represents a disruption in the ocular surface. Even mild cases of dry eye can cause blurred or distorted vision.
Over the past decade, significant advancements have been made in the treatment of dry eye including drops to reduce inflammation, medications to increase tear production and eye lubrication, and devices that unblock and stimulate the oil glands that contribute to high-quality tears.
Importantly, dry eye symptoms are not a disqualifier for laser vision correction. In fact, recent clinical data shows the majority of patients who experienced dry eye symptoms prior to LASIK reported those symptoms disappeared within three months after the procedure. Oftentimes, dry eye conditions are identified during the LASIK consultation, and treatments to address the underlying issues are recommended to restore the tear film and cornea to a healthy state optimizing visual outcomes from laser vision correction.
RSC provides individuals with a wealth of information on dry eye, including symptoms, treatments and how to talk with your eye doctor. Additionally, people interested in exploring vision correction options can learn more about laser vision correction procedures, such as LASIK, SMILE, and PRK, and if this might be a good option for protecting the health of your eyes and vision. Read our recent press release, detailing temporary FSA rules which make paying for LASIK in 2022 tax-free.