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Front Page » April 22, 2010 » Health Focus » Dry eyes? You're not alone
Published 1,588 days ago

Dry eyes? You're not alone


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By Dr. BARRY COOK
Eastern Utah optometric physician

As people age, they produce less tears in their eyes and have symptoms because of this normal aging process. The symptoms of dry eye include burning, sensation or sandiness, grittiness or gravel feeling, a foreign body sensation and excessive watering including tears running down the cheeks. Very often the symptoms get worse towards the end of the day at evening times.

Vision can be affected by dry eyes. Sometimes the vision is pretty good and other times vision is compromised according to how dry the eyes are.

Carbon and Emery counties are very dry areas in the great American desert region of our state. After seeing patients for 32 years, the consensus is that everyone has a little dry eye from time to time. Help is available to maintain comfortable eyes for a lifetime.

Dry eye is not a dangerous condition like many other diseases. It can be annoying, but options are available to improve the quality of life. It is not something you just have to live with.

The first step to try if you feel you are having dry eye is an artificial tear solution. These can be purchased at any drug store or grocery store without a prescription. It is safe to use artificial tears multiple times a day with no side effects. For most people, artificial tears is all that is needed to settle down the tear film.

If artificial tears do not provide the desired relief, there are other options available. One procedure we can do is to put little plugs in the drainage ducts so your own tears stay in the eyes longer. The use of these lacrimal plugs have helped many people to be much more comfortable with their dry eye symptoms. Lacrimal plugs insertion is an office procedure that is covered by medicare and most insurance companies. This is a painless procedure. This procedure can be done by either your Optometric Physician or Ophthalmologist.

Another option that is available and is one that you may have seen advertised on television is called Restasis. Restasis is a product that is available by prescription only and can be effective for many people.

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