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Dry Eye Syndrome

What is Dry Eye Syndrome?

Dry eye syndrome is a chronic lack of sufficient lubrication and moisture in the eye. It is one of the most common problems treated by eye physicians.

In dry eye syndrome, the eye doesn't produce enough tears, or the tears have a chemical composition that causes them to evaporate too quickly.

If you have dry eye syndrome, avoid rubbing the eyes. Rubbing the eyes worsens the irritation.

What Causes Dry Eye Syndrome?

Dry eye syndrome is usually caused by a problem with the quality of the tear film that lubricates the eyes.

Dry eye syndrome has several causes. It can be caused by a dry, dusty, or windy climate. Dry eye syndrome can be a side effect of many medications (antihistamines, antidepressants, certain blood pressure medicines, Parkinson's medications, and birth control pills). Dry eye syndrome also occurs as a part of the natural aging process.

Purpose of Tears

The main purpose of tears is to bathe the eye, wash out dust and debris and keep the eye moist. Tears also contain enzymes that neutralize the microorganisms that colonize the eye. Tears are essential for good eye health.

Symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome

There are many symptoms of dry eye syndrome. Some of the most common symptoms are:

  • Persistent Itching, burning and irritation of the eye
  • Red eye
  • Blurred vision that improves with blinking
  • Excessive tearing
  • Feeling like something is in your eye
  • Increased discomfort after periods of reading, watching TV, or working on a computer

How is Dry Eye Syndrome Diagnosed?

Your eye doctor can diagnose dry eye syndrome according to your symptoms. Sometimes the doctor may use a Schirmer test to measure the amount of tears in your eyes.

Treatment Options for Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye syndrome can be treated with artificial tears, closing the opening of the tear drain in the eyelid with special inserts, and drinking eight to ten glasses of water each day.

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