Dry eye syndrome, also known as dry eye disease, is a condition in which the eyes do not produce enough tears or the tears evaporate too quickly. This can cause the eyes to feel dry, irritated, and uncomfortable.
There are two main types of dry eye syndrome:
- Aqueous-deficient dry eye: caused by a decrease in the amount of water in the tears.
- Evaporative dry eye: caused by a problem with the oil-producing glands in the eyelids that results in the tears evaporating too quickly.
Causes of dry eye syndrome can include:
- Hormonal changes
- Certain medications
- Medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or Sjogren’s syndrome
Symptoms of dry eye syndrome can include:
- Dryness or a sandy or gritty feeling in the eyes
- Itching or burning in the eyes
- Redness or inflammation in the eyes
- Blurred vision or light sensitivity
- Excessive tearing or watery eyes (as a reflex to the dryness)
Diagnosis of dry eye syndrome is typically made by a physical examination, an evaluation of medical history and may include a test called Schirmer’s test that measures the amount of tears produced by the eyes.
Treatment options include using artificial tears, increasing tear production, and reducing tear evaporation. In some cases, a person may need to take a prescription medication or undergo a procedure to improve the health of the eyes. It is important to consult an eye doctor for an accurate diagnosis and a treatment plan that is tailored to your specific needs.
To discuss diagnosis and treatment options, please book an appointment with our specialist.
To learn more about dry eye syndrome, please click on https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dry-eyes/
Dr Ibrahim Yahli MD MRCPsych