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July is Dry Eye Awareness Month

July 1st, 2012

DownerJACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA, July 1, 2012- July is Dry Eye Awareness Month, and Clay Eye Physicians & Surgeons would like to education the community on prevention.

Dry eye syndrome is more common than one would think. In fact, dry eye can occur when one of the eye’s layers fail to produce the adequate amount of tears. This condition can be caused by multiple factors, however, the primary factors include:

  • Age: As we get older, our eyes naturally produce less tears. People who are over the age of 65 are at higher risk for developing dry eye.
  • Gender: Women are at higher risk for developing dry eye, due to hormonal fluctuation during pregnancy, oral contraceptives and post- menopause.
  • Medications: Certain medications affect tear production and may cause dry eye.
  • Medical Conditions: Certain health issues that could cause dry eye are: arthritis, diabetes, thyroid, as well as other conditions.
  • Environment: If you are exposed to elements, such as wind or smoke, this could affect your tear production, causing dry eye. If you live in a particularly dry climate, this could also affect your eyes as well.
  • Computer Exposure: If you work in front of a computer, it is essential that you blink often and put eye drops in your eyes, as they will dry out.
  • Eyewear: It is imperative that you remove your long-term contact lenses. Leaving them in may cause dry eye.
  • Cosmetics: It is so important that cosmetics be removed each day, as eye make-up can block ducts that help to lubricate the eye.

Donald Downer, M.D., Ophthalmologist with Clay Eye Physicians & Surgeons states, “This time of year, it is important to wear quality sunglasses that minimize the exposure of sun and wind to your eyes. Just like you would wear sun block to protect your skin, you need to wear UV sunglasses to protect your eyes.” He continues, “The most common complaints we hear from our patients with dry eye, are that they have irregular vision and they experience problems with tasks that require visual focus: reading, using a computer and driving.”

Dr. Downer summarizes, “Unfortunately, there is no cure for dry eye syndrome, but, depending on severity, treatment options can range from artificial tears to surgery, in extreme cases. We encourage all patients to have an annual eye exam, and to take a proactive approach to obtain and maintain their optimal vision.”

Clay Eye Physicians and Surgeons offers comprehensive eye care in the following specialties: Cataract Surgery, Cornea Surgery, Medical Retina, Diabetic Eye Disease and Macular Degeneration, Glaucoma Surgery, LASIK Surgery, Cosmetic Eye Procedures, Pediatric Ophthalmology, and Pediatric Eye Exams. In addition, they offer Routine Eye Exams, Contact Lenses, and Boutique Eyewear for the entire family.

Clay Eye Physicians & Surgeons was established in 1977 and is an eight physician group. They currently have offices in Orange Park, Fleming Island and Mandarin. If you would like more information about Clay Eye, please contact (904) 272-2020, or visit their website at www.clayeye.com.

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