Dry eye is a condition caused by a decrease in the production and the quality of your tears. Your tears are important for the eye because every time you blink your tears spread across the surface of the eye. This tear film helps your eyes focus and if abnormal, it can affect your vision.
What are the symptoms of dry eye?
- Burning or irritation
- Scratchiness or a sandy sensation
- “Tired” feeling
- Blurry vision
- Excessive tearing or watering
How can dry eye be diagnosed?
By having a discussion and examination with your ophthalmologist, your doctor can determine if dry eye is causing your symptoms. A thorough examination of your eyelids, cornea, and the surface of your eye will be done to look for signs of dry eye. The examination can also include measuring your tear production and assessing the evaporation time of your tears. Sometimes lab testing may be recommended if there is concern for a systemic disease.
What is the treatment for dry eye?
Depending on the severity of your dry eye, your ophthalmologist may recommend prescription or non-prescription eye drops, ointments, or oral supplements. Environmental factors in your life may also be contributing to your dry eye, and the doctor can go over things to avoid that may trigger dry eye symptoms. You may also benefit from an in-office procedure to block the passage of your tears to your tear duct, which helps preserve your tears on the surface of the eye longer.