An Overview Of The Two Main Types Of Dry Eye Syndrome

Several different types of dry eye syndrome can affect you. These include simple dry eyes (the most common form), autoimmune positive dry eyes and Sjogren’s syndrome (a particularly severe and chronic autoimmune disease).

Simple Dry Eye Syndrome
Simple dry eye syndrome (SDE) is the most basic form of dry eyes and can usually be treated easily. Many people who suffer from simple dry eye exhibit symptoms as a result of the changing seasons or a shift in air quality. Wind, heating units, air conditioning and other external forces are all common causes for dry eyes. Other simple dry eye causes include visually-intensive tasks like working at a computer, reading or driving.

Simple dry eyes is a relatively common condition that can usually be solved with eye drops or dissolving eye inserts that help produce tears.

Autoimmune Positive Dry Eye Syndrome
Autoimmune positive dry eye (ADE) is a special kind of dry eye syndrome that affects patients with autoimmune disorders, such as celiac disease, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Dry eyes resulting from these conditions, or from medication used to treat these conditions, can be severe.

In many cases, over-the-counter eye drops won’t be enough to treat dry eyes resulting from one of these types of disorders. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms so that she can suggest the most effective medicine that won’t interfere with other medications you may currently be taking.

Sjogren’s Syndrome
Sjogren’s syndrome (SS) is a serious autoimmune disease in which white blood cells begin to attack the body’s moisture-producing glands. These include the lacrimal glands, the glands in the eye that are responsible for producing water for tears.

Since the disease was first identified in 1933, by Dr. Henrik Sjogren, it’s affected people from every ethnicity around the world. Over four million Americans suffer from Sjogren’s syndrome, and the most common symptoms are dry eyes and dry mouth. Nine out of ten Sjogren’s sufferers are women (Sjogren’s Syndrome Foundation, 2009).

Dry eyes resulting from Sjogren’s syndrome is usually a painful and chronic condition that regular over-the-counter dry eyes treatments won’t be able to correct. Speaking with your primary care physician about your dry eyes is the best way to obtain the most effective medication.

While even mild cases of dry eyes can be irritating, extreme cases like those suffered by autoimmune patients can pose serious risks, including loss of vision. Make sure that your dry eyes problem is addressed so that you can reduce your risk factors and prevent dry eye syndrome in the future.