Dry eye is a medical condition that affects an estimated 20 million people in the United States alone. Dry eye most often results from inadequate lubrication of the eye. Symptoms may be occasional discomfort or chronic and potentially vision-threatening, whether mild or painful. Only your eye care specialist can properly diagnose your dry eye problem.
If you have an abnormal or deficient tear film, the quality of your vision may be diminished. Tears are made up of 3 components: lipid, aqueous (water) and mucins. Each component must be in balance to create the necessary moisture to keep our eyes comfortable. If any component is missing or damaged, the tear film is compromised and the eye moisture will be depleted causing the eyes to feel dry and irritated.
Good vision starts with good tear film that must constantly be produced and spread over our eyes to keep them moist.
Chronic dry eye can occur when the tear glands don't produce the right quantity or quality of tears to keep the eyes lubricated and protected.
Blinking spreads the tear film over the eye. If the tear film is inadequate, dry spots can occur causing discomfort and damage to the corneal cells on the surface of the eye. You may not know that you have damaged corneal cells but your eyes may feel dry with a burning sensation. Your eye care specialist will be able to see the surface damage during an eye exam. Corneal cells can heal quickly if the condition is diagnosed early and treated with a dry eye lubricant that protects the cells and allows moisture to remain on the surface longer.
As we grow older, our eyes produce tears that have less natural oil in them.
Females entering menopause are among the most prone to dry eye.
Wearing contact lenses can contribute to dry eye.
Diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, thyroid and Sjogren's syndrome can cause inflammation in the tear-producing lacrimal gland.
Excessive heat or air conditioning, fans, dry or windy climates, smoke, airplanes, and lack of sleep can all cause dry eye.
Long-term viewing of a computer screen, television, or other digital monitor can cause your eyes to become dry and tired.
Medicines such as allergy drugs, blood pressure medications (beta blockers), and birth control pills can cause dry eye. Be sure to tell your eye care specialist about all the medicines you are taking.
Preservatives in artificial tears and medication drops may be toxic to the cells on the surface of the eye and can contribute to dry eye.
Surgical procedures can disrupt the production of tears. Unless Dry Eye was present before surgery, post-surgical dry eye is almost always temporary.
Several television ad campaigns encourage patients to inform their doctors and pharmacists about all the medications they are taking in order to avoid harmful drug interactions. This is good advice for patients on artificial tears as well.
An ocular medication is much more than just the active drug it contains. Its other components may present difficulties for some patients. This is especially true for patients who are using artificial tear products, suffer chronic eye diseases like dry eye or glaucoma, or require post-surgery dosing of medication drops.
Of these, it's the preservative that is most often considered to be the culprit in damaging the top layer of the cornea leading to disruption when drops are used often. This sequence leaves the surface of the eye unable to keep the tear film in place and can lead to ocular surface disease. If you are using certain medication drops or wear contact lenses it is even more important to have artificial tears that are preservative free.
BAK is the most prevalent chemical preservative and its cytotoxicity is well-documented. Reports have shown that BAK can accumulate in ocular tissue and can cause different types of cell death with frequent dosing. It's thought that patients at greatest risk for BAK-induced adverse effects are those suffering from dry eyes. Because of the lack of natural tears in these patients, the BAK in each eye drop is not as diluted as it would be in a patient with normal tear formation. This may damage the corneal epithelium (top layer of the eye) contributing to ocular surface disease. (Using more than 4 – 6 drops per day increases the likelihood of BAK-induced adverse effects.)
Studies have shown preservative-free preparations are safe to use in patients, especially with frequent dosing. Non-preserved artificial tears have an extra advantage over preserved ones. They may be the best choice for patients immediately following eye surgery (LASIK) due to increased viscosity and pH buffering, which makes the drops more comfortable to use. Preservative-free Oasis TEARS® and Oasis TEARS® PLUS eliminate the source of toxic irritation caused by preservatives.
Not all eye drops are the same. Oasis TEARS® is a new type of eye drop with a unique, viscoadaptive formula, optimized to provide longer lasting comfort.
Oasis TEARS® Lubricant Eye Drops coat, lubricate, and moisten delicate eye tissue. With each blink of your eye, a special substance in Oasis TEARS® combines with the active ingredient, glycerin, to keep tears on the eye surface for a long time. This unique combination coats and recoats the surface of the eye for continued relief of dry, irritated eyes.
Oasis TEARS® is recommended for mild to moderate symptoms
Oasis TEARS® MULTIDOSE contains a very mild preservative, and is available for mild sufferers requiring fewer applications or difficulty using the individual vials
Oasis TEARS® PLUS is recommended for moderate to severe symptoms
Oasis TEARS is the only preservative-free, lubricating eye drop with a special substance that combines with the active ingredient, glycerin, to keep tears on the eye surface for a long time. This unique combination lubricates and moisturizes the surface of the eye for instant comfort. With each blink of the eye, it re-lubricates to provide long-lasting relief.
Oasis TEARS and TEARS PLUS are safe to use as often as needed since they contain no toxic preservatives and the active ingredient, glycerin, is a natural compound. Oasis TEARS lubricating eye drops are recommended and used by eye care professionals to provide long-lasting relief from dry eyes.
There are 3 different types of artificial tear products:Preserved artificial tears (Oasis TEARS MULTIDOSE)
No. Artificial tears are specifically used to treat dry eye, and are different from decongestants and contact lens rewetting solutions.Artificial tears
Your eye care specialist can determine which treatment is best for your specific condition. This depends on whether you have mild, moderate, or severe dry eye. Most people are started out on lubricant eye drops to keep the eye moist and comfortable and to protect the eye surface.
If you are using artificial tears several times a day and still do not have relief you may be suffering from moderate to severe dry eye.
Contact your eye care specialist and ask if Oasis TEARS PLUS, punctum plugs or other therapy would help your chronic dry eye problem.
Studies have shown that the pre-operative condition of your tear film may affect post-op outcomes. It can also affect the accuracy of tests and measurements used to plan the surgery. Another study showed that nearly 60% of people about to undergo cataract surgery had some form of dry eye disease. It is essential before cataract or refractive surgery that you have a healthy tear film. Many surgeons recommend their patients go on artificial tears at least one month prior to surgery to achieve the best surgical outcomes. Similarly, after surgery you may be asked to continue the artificial tears for a month or more in order to maintain comfort and visual clarity.