Dry Eye

Dry Eye

Dry eye syndrome, or dry eye disease, is a common condition. It occurs when

  • the eyes do not make enough tears
  • the tears evaporate too quickly
  • there is a lacrimal system block.

This leads to the eyes drying out and becoming inflamed (red and swollen) and irritated.

Dry Eye is caused when there is a problem with the quality of the tear film that coats the outside of the eye. There is then insufficient lubrication between the eyeball and the eyelid which leads to friction and discomfort. If these symptoms are persistent it is important that you have them evaluated by an eyecare professional so that the cause can be established and treatment started.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

Stinging or burning of the eye, particularly on waking; a sandy or gritty feeling as if something is in the eye;  episodes of excess tears following very dry eye periods; a stringy discharge from the eye;  pain and redness of the eye; episodes of blurred vision; heavy eyelids; decreased tolerance of reading, working on the computer, sustained visual attention; eye fatigue.

WHAT ARE THE CAUSES?

Dry eye can be a side effect of some medications, including antihistamines;  skin disease on or around the eyelids;  diseases of the glands in the eyelids, such as meibomian gland dysfunction;  women who are on hormone replacement therapy may experience dry eye symptoms;  refractive surgery known as LASIK;  chemical and thermal burns that scar the membrane lining the eyelids and covering the eye;  Allergies; Infrequent blinking, for instance associated with staring at screens;  Both excessive and insufficient dosages of vitamins can contribute to dry eye.

We can assess the causes of dry eye symptoms and monitor the treatment of the problem. We are able to examine the structures of the eye that contribute to the tear film and advise on the measures that are necessary to keep the symptoms under control. Dry Eye Syndrome can be a chronic condition, becoming more apparent as you get older and is more common in females.

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