Is it Allergies or Dry Eye Syndrome?
Women are more prone, hormone therapy may increase incidences
Hillsborough, NJ April 1, 2016 – Everyone experiences the symptoms from time to time: burning, irritable eyes, and/or a sensation that something is actually scratching the eye. The symptoms are chronic for 3 million American women, according to Dr. Barbara Tarbell. These women suffer from dry eye syndrome.
“Tears are essential for good eye health,” Dr. Tarbell said. “They lubricate the eye, protect it from infections, and wash away allergens. With dry eye syndrome, the eyes produce too few tears or tears of such poor quality that they don’t stay on the eye. Ironically, some people with dry eye syndrome may actually experience tears running down their cheeks.”
Everyone experiences reduced tear production as they age, but women are more prone to dry eye syndrome than men by a 3 to 1 margin. Studies have shown that hormone therapy may increase the incidence of dry eye syndrome, as can birth control pills, blood pressure medicines, antihistamines, and certain anti-depressants.
“April is Women’s Eye Health Awareness Month and we want women to know there are several options for managing dry eye syndrome,” Dr. Tarbell said.
- Lubricating drops that can minimize the dry, scratchy sensation
- Prescription eye drops that can improve tear production
- Inserts placed under the eyelid that slowly release lubrication throughout the day
Dr. Tarbell is the owner and practitioner of Advanced Eyecare & Vision Gallery located at 305 Omni Drive in Hillsborough and is a member of Vision Source.