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January 2009 Mayo Clinic Health Letter Highlights Improved PSA Tests, Dry Eyes and Colds
Date:1/20/2009

s, pain relievers, sleep medications and antidepressants, can cause dry eyes.

Most people with dry eyes don't develop long-term complications, but they can happen. Treatments are designed to both increase comfort and reduce the possibility of complications. The best treatment depends on what is causing dry eyes.

If the irritant is lack of tears, using nonprescription artificial tears is the mainstay treatment. Generally, it's best to avoid drops such as Clear Eyes and Visine, which reduce redness but may aggravate dry eyes. Some products have a thicker consistency, and their effects last longer, but they can blur vision. Others such as Refresh Dry Eye Therapy use an oil-based component to help prevent evaporation. Another option, Optive, lubricates the eye surface and keeps the eye healthy.

For severe dry eyes, a physician may recommend tear conservation methods such as blocking tear drainage with tiny silicone plugs or cauterizing the tissues of the tear drainage area so scarring closes the tear ducts.

Other options are prescription cyclosporine (Restasis) drops and corticosteroid drops or contact lenses that cover the white of the eye to help retain moisture. For impaired blinking, surgery may be needed.

At home, using eyedrops before eyes become irritated is helpful. Protecting eyes from blowing air, for example with wraparound sunglasses, can reduce eye irritation. So can avoiding smoke and not rubbing the eyes. A humidifier can help when the air inside the home is dry.

More Than a Week of Misery Could Mean More Than a Cold

When a cold lasts longer than seven to 10 days, or when symptoms seem to improve, then suddenly worsen, chances are good an acute sinus infection is the cause.

The body can usually fight off infection if symptoms are mild. But, according to the January issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter, w
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