What is Ocular Surface Disease?

Eye Care Services Canton OHIn a sea of medical terms, it can be difficult to understand precisely what one may mean for your eyes. Ocular Surface Disease (OSD) is a prime example of a term that may sound ominous but is commonly used to describe a variety of conditions.

If your doctor has used the term Ocular Surface Disease when discussing your eye health, it could be because you are displaying symptoms of:

  • Allergies
  • Dry eye syndrome
  • Damage secondary to glaucoma medication
  • Eyelid inflammation
  • Environmental irritation or burn to the eyeball
  • Immune disease
  • Meibomian gland dysfunction
  • Rosacea

Any one of these conditions may relate to Ocular Surface Disease, and it is possible for multiple to coincide. A doctor may diagnose OSD if the corneal surface appears thin or weak. This may happen when any of layers of tear film are disrupted, or when the glands that produce tear film are disabled in any way.

Signs of Ocular Surface Disease

Ocular Surface Disease usually affects the cornea, the delicate, clear surface at the front of the eye. When the corneal surface is weak or otherwise compromised, symptoms such as the following may develop:

  • Redness
  • Burning or stinging sensation
  • Itching
  • General eye irritation or pain
  • Eye fatigue
  • Infection in the eye
  • Vision distortion

In severe cases of OSD, vision loss may occur.

What to do about Ocular Surface Disease

If symptoms of Ocular Surface Disease develop, it is beneficial to schedule a complete eye exam with an experienced ophthalmologist. A thorough analysis of the ocular surface, including the cornea, can be performed to observe any abrasions or external irritation. Discussion of health history provides insights into risk factors for conditions that can cause OSD, and can also guide treatment planning.

Ocular Surface Disease may respond well to non-surgical treatments that improve tear production and retention. Patients may be advised to supplement their diet with omega-3 fatty acids or to take corticosteroids and use artificial tears for a short time to reduce inflammation. In some cases, professional eyelid hygiene is necessary. When vision is affected, surgical corneal procedures may be considered.

At Roholt Vision Institute offices in Canfield, North Canton, and Alliance, vision is more than 20/20. We are proud to support our patients and members of our community. Contact an office near you to schedule a visit with us.

Posted in: Eye Care, Ocular Hypertension

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