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Clinical case review

A woman with dry eyes exacerbated by driving

Minas T Coroneo

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Abstract

A 72-year-old woman with dry eye syndrome is finding her symptoms are markedly exacerbated by driving. How can she be helped to ensure she can keep driving?

Article Extract

Case scenario

Patricia is a 72-year-old woman who is very distressed about her recurring eye pain. She has had a complete eye check performed by an ophthalmologist, and has been reassured that her eyes are healthy apart from her having the common condition of dry eyes. She had been advised to use artificial tears as needed.

Patricia reports, however, that recently she has been developing severe pain and burning in both eyes whenever she drives her car. She develops such eye discomfort that she needs to stop after 10 to 15 minutes of driving to use lubricating eye drops, which then give her some temporary relief. She has to pull over repeatedly to administer the drops during longer trips. This severe discomfort does not occur when she is a passenger in the car or in any other setting. She has found no correlation with her car heating, air conditioning or window airflow.

What is causing Patricia’s marked eye discomfort while driving and what can be done to help her?

Picture credit: © Lara Belova/iStockPhoto. Model used for illustrative purposes only.

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