Treating the underlying cause of aqueous deficiency(ADDE)
Chronic dry eye is a medical condition that can result from the eyes’ reduced ability to produce tears due to inflammation. Dry eye affects an estimated 4.5 million people in the Canada and is one of the most common reasons that people visit their eye care professional.
There are two predominant forms of Chronic Dry Eye.
1) Evaporative, (EDE) due to lipid deficiency, is the most prevalent, affecting 65% to 86% of sufferers with dry eye symptoms. Evaporative Dry Eye occurs when the aqueous evaporates at a faster rate than normal due to an inadequate protective lipid (oil) layer on the surface of the tear film. This is a manifestation of reduced lipid excretion from the oil-producing meibomian glands found within the eyelids.
2) Aqueous Deficient Dry Eye (ADDE) occurs when tear aqueous generation from the lacrimal gland is insufficient to keep the eyes moist. This can result in a concentrated tear film (hyperosmolarity) and an unstable tear film with desiccation of the ocular surface.
Treating the underlying cause of dry eyes
In some cases, treating an underlying health issue can help reverse dry eyes. For instance, if a medication is causing your dry eyes, we may recommend a different medication that doesn't cause that side effect.
If you have an eyelid condition, such as an anatomic abnormality or a condition that makes it difficult to close your eye completely when you blink, we may refer you to an eye surgeon who specializes in plastic surgery of the eyelids (oculoplastic surgeon).
If your signs and symptoms suggest an autoimmune condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis or Sjogren's syndrome, we may refer you to a rheumatologist for evaluation.
Prescriptions used to treat dry eyes include:
RESTASIS®, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is currently the only prescription eye drop to help increase the eyes’ natural ability to produce tears in cases where it may be reduced by inflammation due to chronic dry eye. RESTASIS® did not increase tear production in patients using topical steroids or tear duct plugs.
While artificial tears provide temporary relief by putting water and lubricants on the surface of the eye, RESTASIS® is the only prescription eye drop that addresses an underlying cause of chronic dry eye.
To date, more than 5 million prescriptions have been written for RESTASIS® ophthalmic emulsion.11
RESTASIS® has a favorable safety profile. In clinical studies, there was no increase in ocular infection, interaction with other drugs, increase in intraocular pressure or detectable systemic drug absorption in the blood of patients for up to 12 months of treatment with RESTASIS® ophthalmic emulsion.
RESTASIS® should not be used by patients with active eye infections and has not been studied in patients with a history of herpes viral infections of the eye. The most common side effect is a temporary burning sensation. Other side effects include eye redness, discharge, watery eyes, eye pain, foreign body sensation, itching, stinging and blurred vision.
For more information about RESTASIS® ophthalmic emulsion, please refer to the full prescribing information, enclosed package insert or the product Web site at www.restasis.com.