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Why Are My Eyes Dry?

18th February 2020

Do you feel a burning, scratchy sensation on your eyes? It could be dry eye.

Dry eye disease, also known as dye eye syndrome is a condition in which a person doesn’t produce enough quality tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. Symptoms include; gritty sore eyes, watering eyes, burning sensation and blurry vision.

The surface of the eye is constantly bathed in tear fluid, which keeps it moist and provides the final optical polish to the cornea – the transparent window in front of the eye. This allows light to pass into the eye and helps to focus it on the retina.

The tear fluid is made of three components, water, mucin and oil, which come from different glands on and around the eye. Deficiency or absence of any of these can cause disruption of the tear film and manifest as ‘dry eye disease’.

Several conditions can cause this:

  • Post-menopausal women
  • Eye infections and corneal surgery
  • Rheumatoid arthritis or Sjogren’s syndrome
  • People who are on certain long-term medication such as antidepressants

Treatment involves finding and eliminating any associated causes where possible, conserving naturally formed tears by inserting plugs in the tear drainage tubes (punctal plugs), treating inflammation with appropriate medication and instillation of artificial tear drops.

There are a wide range of tear drops available but not all of them will suit everyone. For advanced cases of dry eye disease, complex interventions may be required. In most cases patients can control the condition and attain relief from the symptoms but a permanent cure is usually not possible.

Book a consultation for dry eye with one of our eye experts.

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