Dry eye in Detroit got worse this week for most patients. More complaints of dryness, tearing, burning and blurred vision were common. Why is this, and what can be done about it?
Dry eye is a common problem, and in cold winter weather, the symptoms get worse. Falling temperatures are combined with falling humidity, causing worsening of dry eye in Detroit. This decrease in moisture in the air makes EVERYONE's eyes dry, so even patients with only mild dry eye in the past get worse! Some patients who were never bothered by dry eye have symptoms for the first time when the weather turns colder.
When artificial tears are no longer enough, there are several alternatives. Nutritional supplements with Omega 3 in them may work. Simply adding a humidifier to the rooms that are used most commonly, including the bedroom usually helps.
If none of these work, then plugs in the tear outflow system may help, as may a prescription called Restasis. Restasis actually causes the growth of new tear glands so that patients can produce more of their own natural tears to moisturize the eye.