Dry Eye Syndrome, Symptoms and Treatment

One of the most common eye complaints, particularly during the colder months, is dry eye syndrome.

Dry eye is an irritating, and sometimes painful, condition, and whilst it is not usually too severe, proper diagnosis and treatment can help ease the symptoms.

What is dry eye?

When your eye does not produce enough tears, or manage that lubrication correctly, it can become dry and irritable. This is dry eye.

What are the Causes of dry eye?

Some causes of dry eye are difficult to avoid, such as the weather and elements of your work environment. Also, underlying illnesses and laser eye surgery can also produce dry eye type symptoms.

Other causes include:

  • Aging – tear production decreases after 50
  • Seasonal allergies such as hay fever
  • Poor diet – especially one low in Vitamin A
  • Smoking
  • Digital eye strain.

What are the Symptoms of dry eye?

The different symptoms of dry eye are numerous and vary from person to person.

They include:

  • Redness or a burning sensation around the eye
  • Gritty or itchy eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Unusual discomfort with contact lenses
  • Difficulty keeping your eyes open, particularly if you are looking at a screen

How do your treat dry eye?

There are various types of treatment depending on the type of dry eye you have and the severity of your symptoms.

Your symptoms may be managed using eye drops or you may need medication to help reduce inflammation. If necessary, you may be given a referral for surgery to prevent tears from draining away too easily.

If dry eye is caused by another underlying condition, treating this condition will usually help relieve the symptoms. If necessary, your optometrist may refer you for further tests.



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