A thin film of tears normally coats your eye and is spread with every blink Dry eye occurs when the eye does not produce tears properly or when tears evaporate too quickly. The symptoms of dry eye include general discomfort, with dryness, burning and a sore, scratch, gritty feeling. You might also notice some blurring of your vision and sensitivity to bright light.
Many factors can contribute to dry eye, including medications, indoor and outdoor climate, certain medical conditions or physical factors like smoking or wearing contact lenses.
We will ask you about your symptoms and medical history and examine your eyes. We may do some tests to determine the underlying cause of the dryness and to check for any damage to your eyes. We’ll then suggest a treatment plan according to the severity of your symptoms. Depending on the diagnosis, we may recommend the use of ‘artificial tears’, antibiotics or (if symptoms are more severe) recommend a small procedure to stop tears draining away.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Remember to blink frequently, especially when you’re watching TV, reading or working at the computer.
- Stay hydrated by drinking eight to ten glasses of water a day.
- Wear sunglasses, preferably wrap-around ones, when you’re outside.
- Avoid overly warm rooms and use a humidifier in heated or air-conditioned environments.
- Avoid rubbing your eyes. This will make the irritation worse.
- Use a cold washcloth or icepack over your eyes to stop or soothe itching.