DRY EYE DISEASE SOLUTIONS

Our practice is providing this educational web page to help you learn more about Dry Eye Disease, and why we are recommending the use of Oasis TEARS® to treat your condition and relieve your symptoms.

WHAT IS DRY EYE?

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.

The Importance of Eye Lubrication: Tears & Tear Film

Good vision starts with good tear film that must constantly be produced and spread over our eyes to keep them moist.

  •   Bathes, refreshes and protects the surface of the eye
  •   Helps to create a smooth surface so vision stays clear and undistorted
  •   Keeps eyes lubricated and comfortable
  •   Protects from infection
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.

Chronic Dry Eye

Tear FilmBlinking 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.

COMMON SYMPTOMS OF DRY EYE

  •  Eyes feel dry
  •  Scratchy, gritty feeling
  •  Burning, itching, or stinging
  •  Red or 'bloodshot' eyes
  •  Eyes feel tired
  •  Feels like 'something' is in your eyes
  •  Blurry or hazy vision
  •  Feeling uncomfortable with contact lenses
  •  Watery eyes
  •  Frequent eyelid infections or sties
  •  Irritation from wind or smoke
  •  Sensitivity to light or pain from bright lights

COMMON CAUSES OF DRY EYE

Aging

As we grow older, our eyes produce tears that have less natural oil in them.

Menopause

Females entering menopause are among the most prone to dry eye.

Contact Lens Wear

Wearing contact lenses can contribute to dry eye.

Autoimmune Disorders

Diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, thyroid and Sjogren's syndrome can cause inflammation in the tear-producing lacrimal gland.

Environment

Excessive heat or air conditioning, fans, dry or windy climates, smoke, airplanes, and lack of sleep can all cause dry eye.

Computer Vision Syndrome

Long-term viewing of a computer screen, television, or other digital monitor can cause your eyes to become dry and tired.

Medications

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.

Eye Medications

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.

Surgery

Surgical procedures can disrupt the production of tears. Unless Dry Eye was present before surgery, post-surgical dry eye is almost always temporary.

WHY PRESERVATIVE-FREE?

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.

Most eye drops are composed of unique mixtures of:

  •   The active drug and its drug delivery system
  •   A preservative
  •   A viscosity increasing agent
  •   A vehicle by which all the above ingredients are "carried"
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.)

Non-preserved Drops

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.

Common chemical preservatives found in ophthalmic drops are:

  •   Benzalkonium chloride (BAK)
  •   Disodium EDTA

THE OASIS TEARS ADVANTAGE

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.

Unique Lubricating Formulation

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.

Features:
  •  Offer instant relief of dry eye symptoms
  •  Natural; contain no damaging chemicals
  •  Give you prolonged comfort with fewer applications required
  •  Provide moistening and lubrication of the surfaces of your eye
  •  Eliminate the source of toxic irritation with preservative-free options
Use Oasis TEARS® to relieve dry eye symptoms such as:
  •  Morning, nighttime, or end-of-day dry eyes
  •  Burning, itching eyes
  •  CVS (Computer Vision Syndrome)
  •  Irritated eyes
  •  Tired eyes

Oasis TEARS
Oasis TEARS® is recommended for mild to moderate symptoms

Oasis TEARS® MULTIDOSE
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
Oasis TEARS® PLUS is recommended for moderate to severe symptoms

Watch how the unique viscoadaptive molecules in Oasis TEARS® provide longer-lasting relief.

Q & A


  What makes Oasis TEARS lubricating eye drops different from other artificial tears?

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.


  Is it safe for me to use Oasis TEARS? Will Oasis TEARS relieve my dry eye?

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.


  What kinds of artificial tears can I use?

There are 3 different types of artificial tear products:

Preserved artificial tears (Oasis TEARS MULTIDOSE)
  • Most artificial tears contain preservatives
  • Usually available in multiple-dose bottles
  • Recommended for patients using drops less than 4 times per day
Preservative-free artificial tears (Oasis TEARS and Oasis TEARS PLUS)
  • Recommended by eye care professionals for patients with sensitive eyes
  • Recommended for patients on chronic eye medications
  • Usually available in single-use vials
Artificial tears and ointments in thicker, stronger formulations
  • Usually recommended for more severe dry eye symptoms and nighttime use
  • Oasis TEARS PLUS is thicker, stronger, and preservative-free

Aren't all eye drops the same?

No. Artificial tears are specifically used to treat dry eye, and are different from decongestants and contact lens rewetting solutions.

Artificial tears
  • Specially made to treat dry eyes by moisturizing and soothing the surface of the eyes for symptoms that include a dry, scratchy or gritty sensation
  • Oasis TEARS is an artificial tear that lubricates and protects against irritants
Decongestants
  • Used to remove redness due to irritation; works by shrinking the blood vessels to make eyes whiter
  • Treats red eyes, but does not treat dry eye problems
Contact lens rewetting solutions
  • Relieves dryness and irritation that may occur with contact lens wear
  • Rewetting solutions are only for contact lenses while in the eye

  How can I relieve my dry eye problems?

  • Use Oasis TEARS to lubricate and protect your eyes from irritation and dryness.
  • Avoid drafts from heating or air conditioning vents in cars, airplanes, and closed environments.
  • If using a computer for long periods of time, take frequent breaks to relieve eye strain.
  • Certain over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs can contribute to dry eye problems. Talk to your eye care specialist and tell him what medications you are taking.
  • Using a humidifier may help relieve the symptoms of dry eyes.
  • If you wear contact lenses, remove and clean them when your eyes are feeling dry.
  • If you are going to have refractive eye surgery to correct your vision (for example, nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism), your eye care professional may recommend preservative-free Oasis TEARS before and after surgery.

  What can I do to get treatment for my dry eyes?

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.

  • Your eye care specialist may recommend making changes to your environment and also recommend Oasis TEARS to relieve your discomfort.
  • Your eye care specialist may recommend that you take regular breaks from computers, television, and reading to rest your eyes. This will increase your blink rate and lubrication of your eyes.
  • Your eye care specialist may ask you to decrease or eliminate the use of certain medications that may cause dry eye.

  If artificial tears do not relieve my dry eye, what else can I use?

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.


  What if I am scheduled for eye surgery?

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.