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Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry Eye Syndrome

Normally, the eye constantly bathes itself in tears. By producing tears at a slow and steady rate, the eye stays moist and comfortable. Sometimes people do not produce enough tears to keep their eyes healthy and comfortable. This condition is known as Dry Eye.

The usual symptoms include:

  • Stinging or burning eyes
  • Scratchiness
  • Stringy mucus in or around the eye
  • Excessive eye irritation from smoke or wind
  • Excess tearing
  • Discomfort when wearing contact lenses

A wide variety of causes include:

  • Menopause
  • Medications such as diuretics for high blood pressure, beta-blockers for heart or high blood pressure; antihistamines for allergies, sleeping pills and pain relievers

An ophthalmologist is usually able to diagnose dry eye by examining the eyes or by performing tests that measure tear production.

Adding Tears

Eyedrops call artificial tears are similar to your own tears. They lubricate the eyes and help maintain moisture.

Conserving your Tears

Conserving your eyes' own tears is another approach to keeping the eyes moist. Tears drain out of the eye through a small channel into the nose. Your ophthalmologist may close these channels either temporarily or permanently. The closure conserves your own tears and makes artificial tears last longer.

Other treatment methods are available. Ask your eye doctor which treatment method is right for you.

Source: American Academy of Ophthalmology

Illinois Eye Center