Dry Eye Syndrome

Apr 02, 2023


An overview of Dry Eye syndrome

Dry eye syndrome, also known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca, is a common condition in which the eyes don't produce enough tears or the tears evaporate too quickly. This leads to dryness, irritation, and inflammation in the eyes. It can be a chronic condition that can affect the quality of life and cause discomfort and pain.

Symptoms of dry eye syndrome can vary depending on the severity of the condition. Common symptoms include:

  1. Stinging, burning, or scratchy sensation in the eyes
  2. Redness in the eyes
  3. Sensitivity to light
  4. Blurred vision
  5. Eye fatigue
  6. Feeling like there's something in your eye
  7. Watery eyes (a common response to the irritation caused by dry eyes)

Several factors can contribute to the development of dry eye syndrome. Some of the most common causes include:

  1. Aging: As we age, tear production tends to decrease.
  2. Environmental factors: Dry air, wind, and smoke can all contribute to dry eyes.
  3. Medications: Certain medications, including antihistamines, decongestants, and antidepressants, can decrease tear production.
  4. Health conditions: Rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and thyroid disorders are all associated with dry eyes.
  5. Contact lens wear: Wearing contact lenses for extended periods can cause dry eyes.

Treatment for dry eye syndrome can vary depending on the cause and severity of the condition. In mild cases, over-the-counter eye drops, such as artificial tears, may be enough to provide relief. In more severe cases, prescription eye drops, such as Restasis, Xiidra, Cequa may be necessary to increase tear production.

Other treatments for dry eye syndrome include:

  1. Punctal plugs: These tiny plugs are inserted into the tear ducts to prevent tears from draining away too quickly.
  2. Meibomian gland expression: This is a technique in which a doctor or eye care professional massages the eyelids to express the meibomian glands, which produce the oily layer of tears that prevents evaporation.
  3. Lifestyle changes: Avoiding smoking, using a humidifier, and taking breaks when doing activities that require prolonged visual attention can all help alleviate dry eye symptoms.
  4. Nasal sprays such as Tyrvaya.

In summary, dry eye syndrome is a common condition that can cause discomfort, pain, and irritation in the eyes. There are several causes and treatments for dry eye syndrome, and it's important to speak with an eye care professional to determine the best course of action. By managing the condition and making lifestyle changes, individuals with dry eye syndrome can find relief from their symptoms and improve their quality of life.

Dr. Scotty Gadlin of Athens Eye Consultants, located in Athens Georgia 30606 is a board certified Opthalmologist.  Dr. Scotty Gadlin manages dry eye syndrome.