“Dry eye” is when your eyes don’t make enough tears to keep them moist. The result is that your eyes get dry and feel uncomfortable.
Common Symptoms of Dry Eye:
Irritation, Spells of blurred vision, Sensativity to bright light and Itching or burning.
Treatment for dry eye syndrome includes the use of eye drops and eye ointments that help the eye keep moist. In some rarer cases surgery is required.With dry eye both eyes are usually affected and they generally will not actually feel dry. When wearing contact lenses you may feel them getting more and more uncomfortable to wear.
There is a gland above each of your eyes called the “Lacrimal Gland”. This regularly produces a small amount of liquid “tears”. There are also tiny glands in the eyelids which produce the liquid that makes up the other part of your tears. Your eyes make these tears so they don’t dry out. Tears help to protect the eyes from infection.
When you blink eyelids spread tears over the eye Your tears then drain away through the “Puncta” into small channels called “Canaliculi” then they drain away into the nose.
When the amount of tears you produce is reduced or the tears evaporate or drain away, you may get dry eye syndrome.
Dry eye syndrome can also happen if you have difficulty closing your eye lids. People who have had a stroke, or have damage to the nerves around the eyes may find it difficult to close their eyes.
A diagnosis of dry eye syndrome can usually be made based on your symptoms. Sometimes your GP or Optometrist ( eye specialist) may also carry out some simple tests.
Dry eye syndrome is usually treated using artificial tears. These come as eye drops, which are available from pharmacies, and on prescription from your GP. Artificial tears work by making your eyes more lubricated.
At first you may need to use eye drops every hour, but less often as your symptoms improve. You will have to continue to use eye drops for as long as you have dry eye syndrome.
There are several different kinds of eye drops available, and some may contain ingredients that may irritate your eyes. If this happens, try another kind until you find one that suits you best.
An eye ointment can be used at night time to soothe and lubricate your eyes. Eye ointments are available at pharmacies and on prescription. You shouldn’t use eye ointment during the day as it can cause blurred vision and can stop eye-drops from working.