Dry Eye Syndrome

In this condition there is a problem with the tear film of the eye leading to dryness of the eye surface. Either not enough tears are being produced or the tears are evaporating to quickly. Symptoms include a feeling of dryness, soreness or irritation usually in both eyes. It is often worse after reading or long periods in front of a computer screen. Vision may be temporally blurred but improves with blinking or giving the eyes a rest.

The tear film is made up of 3 layers: the aqueous layer, the mucous layer and the lipid layer. A problem with either layer will to dry eye syndrome. There are several causes of dry eye including age-related decreased production of tears, contact lens wear, refractive laser surgery, side effects of medications and certain hormonal changes.

Dry eye syndrome although not serious can cause troublesome symptoms, however, there are several treatment options available to help relieve these. For most patients the use of lubricating eye drops and addressing the underlying cause is all that is necessary.

Dry Eye Syndrome diagram