Dry Eye Syndrome

What Is Dry Eye Syndrome?

Dry eye syndrome, often simply referred to as “dry eye,” is a common condition where the eyes do not produce enough tears or the tears evaporate too quickly. This leads to the eyes drying out and becoming inflamed and irritated. Dry eye syndrome is also known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca.


Symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome:

Dry eye syndrome can cause a variety of symptoms, which may include:

  • A stinging, burning, or scratchy sensation in your eyes
  • Stringy mucus in or around your eyes
  • Increased eye irritation from smoke or wind
  • Eye fatigue after short periods of reading or screen time
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Eye redness
  • A sensation of having something in your eyes
  • Difficulty wearing contact lenses
  • Blurred vision, often worsening at the end of the day or after focusing for a prolonged period


Treatment for Dry Eye Syndrome:

The treatment of dry eye syndrome is centered around restoring or maintaining a normal amount of tears in the eye to minimize dryness and its related discomfort and to maintain eye health. Treatments may include:

  • Over-the-counter artificial tear solutions
  • Prescription eye drops that help increase tear production
  • Eye drops that reduce inflammation in the cornea or the glands that produce tears
  • Small punctal plugs to close the ducts that drain tears out of the eye
  • Lipiflow, a treatment that uses heat and pressure on the eyelids to unclog blocked meibomian glands
  • Lifestyle and home remedies like blinking regularly when reading or looking at a screen, increasing humidity in the air at work and home, wearing sunglasses outdoors to reduce exposure to wind and sun


Prevention of Dry Eye Syndrome:

While not all forms of dry eye syndrome can be prevented, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the risk and manage symptoms:

  • Avoid air blowing directly in your eyes. Don’t direct hair dryers, car heaters, air conditioners, or fans toward your eyes.
  • Add moisture to the air with a humidifier.
  • Consider wearing wraparound sunglasses or other protective eyewear.
  • Take eye breaks during long tasks that require visual concentration.
  • Be conscious of your environment and avoid smoke, wind, and dry conditions.
  • Position your computer screen below eye level to reduce the rate of tear evaporation.
  • Stop smoking and avoid smoke.
  • Use artificial tears regularly if you have chronic dry eyes.


Disclaimer: The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only and has been compiled from various online sources. I am not a medical professional, and this content should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult your physician, optometrist, or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Do not ignore or delay seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website. If you are experiencing persistent discomfort or other symptoms associated with dry eye syndrome, it is important to consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.