What is dry eye?

Dry eye occurs when not enough tears are produced, or the tears that are produced are of poor quality. Tears help keep the front of the eye healthy and smooth to maintain good vision and comfort. Dry eye is commonly a chronic condition.

Dry Eye Syndrome symptoms include:

  • stinging, burning and itching
  • redness
  • a sandy or gritty feeling, or feeling like something is in the eye
  • blurred vision
  • light sensitivity
  • eye fatigue
  • excess watering/tearing
  • eye pain
  • contact lens irritation/intolerance 

Dry Eye Syndrome Causes:

  • Dry eye syndromemedications (antidepressants, birth control pills, antihistamines, decongestants, certain blood pressure medications, hormone replacement)
  • medical conditions (autoimmune disease, diabetes, thyroid disorders, rosacea)
  • menopause and pregnancy
  • increasing age 
  • environment (dry climates, fans, air conditioning, smoking, extended computer use)
  • LASIK surgery

Dry Eye Syndrome Treatment

  • lubricating drops and ointments
  • prescription drops to decrease inflammation or increase tear production (Restasis)
  • punctal plugs (these slow the drainage of your tears)
  • warm compresses and eyelid scrubs
  • fish oil/omega 3 supplements
  • adjust or eliminate medications that have side effects of dry eye
  • increase humidity in dry environments with a humidifier
  • drink plenty of water
  • take breaks when using the computer
  • blinking more often

Dry eye treatment will be tailored specifically to your eyes. Your eye care provider can diagnose the type or dry eye you have and what treatment is most appropriate.