RED BANK, N.J., June 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The not-for-profit National
Women's Health Resource Center (NWHRC) today released a list of
America's 100 Dry Eye Hot Spots, those cities with environmental
conditions most likely to contribute to dry eye, a condition which
can progress and if left untreated can lead to increased risk of
infection and impaired vision.
The presence of dry eye is an important factor when considering
refractive surgery. Lasik and Bladeless Lasik commonly induce temporary
dry eye. The surface ablation techniques of PRK, LASEK, and Epi-Lasik
may also induce dry eye, but are less likely. Pre-existing dry eye
needs to be managed before a decision about refractive surgery.
The 100 Dry Eye Hot Spot rankings are based on an analysis of
data archived by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's
Climatic Data Center and the Environmental Protection Agency that
considered six factors including temperature, humidity, wind, altitude,
pollutants and ocular allergens.
Las Vegas tops the list, followed by four Texas communities (Lubbock,
El Paso, Midland/Odessa, Dallas/Ft Worth). Other large metropolitan
cities on the list include New York, Los Angeles, Washington, DC,
San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Miami. For a complete
list of the cities, visit
"Even if you live in one of the worst cities for dry eye, you
don't have to live with dry eye," said Marguerite McDonald, MD,
FACS, clinical professor of ophthalmology at Tulane University Hospital
& Clinic. "Anyone using eye drops several times a day should see
an eye care professional who can properly diagnose chronic dry eye
and may recommend adding a treatment, such as a prescription eye
drop that targets the underlying cause of dry eye."
Chronic dry eye occurs when changes to the health of the tear-producing
glands affect the quantity and quality of tears produced. The tear
film can no longer provide enough nourishment or protection to the
surface of the eye, explained Dr. McDonald. Dry eye can be a progressive
disease and, if left untreated, chronic dry eye can lead to more
A detailed article about Lasik and dry eye treatment is available
Lasik Dry Eye.
Dry eye is one of the most common complaints brought to eye doctors,
accounting for nearly one fourth of all office visits. Nearly 40
percent of Americans suffer from dry eye symptoms, which may include
itching, irritation, light sensitivity, blurred vision, dryness
and foreign body sensation. Those suffering from dry eye may have
trouble with reading, professional work, driving at night and using
In addition to environmental factors, such as those found in
the cities on the 100 Dry Eye Hot Spot rankings, certain medical
factors also can aggravate dry eye, including hormonal changes due
to aging and menopause, thyroid problems, vitamin deficiencies,
rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, lupus, rosacea, sarcoidosis and
"Women are twice as likely as men to suffer dry eye because of
hormonal factors and related autoimmune disorders that disproportionately
affect women," said Elizabeth Battaglino Cahill, RN, executive director
of the National Women's Health Resource Center (NWHRC). "It is a
growing public health issue that people need to know more about."
To help raise awareness, Sen. Mark Dayton of Minnesota is working
to formally designate July as Dry Eye Awareness Month in Congress.
Together with the NWHRC and the Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation, a
non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public about
the autoimmune disease that affects moisture producing glands, Sen.
Dayton has declared July as Dry Eye Awareness Month in the Congressional
Treatment is based on disease severity, using a continuum of
care approach and an evaluation of the cause of the disease. For
the management of dry eye, the American Academy of Ophthalmology
recommends education, environmental control and artificial tears
as the beginning of the treatment continuum, with medications and
surgery considered as disease severity increases.
Artificial tears provide symptomatic relief and do not address
the underlying cause of dry eye disease. Further, they are a "foundation"
for all levels of disease severity and are recommended as a treatment
component as other therapies are added.
Many people self-diagnose and use artificial tears to manage
dry eye symptoms. If a person uses artificial tears three or more
times a day for dry eye symptoms, they should visit an eye doctor.
Additional treatments may be recommended for these patients. Restasis
(cyclosporine ophthalmic emulsion) 0.05% is the first and only prescription
eye drop that is believed to increase the eyes' natural ability
to produce tears which may be suppressed by inflammation due to
chronic dry eye.