Common Eye Disorders > Dry Eyes
Who gets dry eyes?
Dry eye is a condition that can develop under many circumstances and affects millions of people of all ages and races worldwide. In some, it may be associated with underlying medical problems. The dry eye syndrome is caused by the alteration in one’s natural tear film, a thin layer of tears protecting the surface of our eyes. Damage to the surface of the eyes (cornea and conjunctiva) may result from severe dry eyes.
How do I know if I have dry eyes?
You may feel a foreign body sensation in your eyes and the eyes may water and burn. Typically this happens when reading, working on the computer, watching TV or when the wind blows. An ophthalmologist will examine your eyes and test for the amount of tears that your eyes produce
How are dry eyes treated?
Artificial tears, which may be purchased at a local pharmacy, are the first line of therapy for dry eyes. Artificial tears come in several different brands. Some solutions are thicker than others. The ones which are preservative-free are recommended. The thicker solutions might relieve symptoms for a longer period of time; however, they may cause slight blurriness of vision for a short time after they are applied. Reducing air conditioning, fans and humidifying the environment also helps. Several other modalities of treatment, including occlusion of the tear drainage system with a plug, exist for people with severe dry eyes. Most importantly, people with severe dry eyes should be examined by their ophthalmologist.