What is Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca?

Keratoconjunctivitis sicca is the technical name for dry eye syndrome. Symptoms of dry eye include burning, itching, redness, irritation, sensitivity to light, excess tears, blurred vision and problems wearing contact lenses.

This condition usually occurs when the eyes do not make enough tears, or their tears evaporate too quickly because there is not enough oil content in them.

Dry eye may be caused by:

  • Chronic health issues such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or Sjogren syndrome 
  • Certain medicines such as diuretics, beta-blockers or antihistamines
  • Laser vision correction surgery such as LASIK

For most patients, keratoconjunctivitis sicca can be managed as an ongoing condition with over-the-counter eye drops. Of course, your treatment will depend on individual circumstances. However, the following methods for treating dry eye syndrome are common:

  • Restasis eye drops improve natural tear production. By reducing ocular surface inflammation, the tear glands can produce natural tears more efficiently.
  • Steroid eye drops treating inflammation on the ocular surface has been shown to increase tear production to improve eye comfort.
  • Low dose oral doxycycline pills treat any underlying blepharitis and stabilize the tear film.
  • At a low dose, doxycycline has anti-inflammatory properties, rather than antibiotic properties, to treat rosacea and blepharitis.
  • Punctal plugs help tears stay in the eye longer. Eye drops and tears naturally drain through tiny openings located into the inner angle of the eyelids to the nasal passages. Placing tiny plugs in each opening, called a puncta, can reduce the drainage of tears away from the eye surface.
  • Autologous serum eye drops are manufactured by drawing the patient’s own blood and concentrating the serum by centrifugation. Serum eye drops contain natural growth factors and immunoglobulins that can heal and nurture the ocular surface. 
  • If all other treatment options have been unsuccessful, dry eye surgery may be considered. The procedure involves cauterizing the opening of the punctum. 

To learn more about keratoconjunctivitis sicca, contact Pennachio Eye at 325-227-1999 or website to schedule an appointment with Dr. Pennachio.

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