Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry Eye Syndrome

The eye may become dry, red and inflamed. The main symptoms are discomfort and ensitivity to light. Certain medical conditions, including diabetes.
Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry Eye Syndrome

What is dry eye?

Dry eye occurs when the quantity and/or quality of tears fails to keep the surface of the eye adequately lubricated.
Eye Doctors estimate that dry eye affects millions of adults in the India. The risk of developing dry eye increases with advancing age. Women have a higher prevalence of dry eye compared with men.

Symptoms of Dry Eye - 

  • Dry eye causes a scratchy sensation or the feeling that something is in the eye.
  • Other symptoms include stinging or burning, episodes of excess tearing that follow periods of dryness, discharge, pain, and redness in the eye.
  • People with dry eye may also feel as if their eyelids are heavy and may experience blurred vision.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

What are tears and how do they relate to dry eye?
In a healthy eye, lubricating tears called basal tears continuously bathe the cornea, the clear, dome-shaped outer surface of the eye.  With every blink of the eye, basal tears flow across the cornea, nourishing its cells and providing a layer of liquid protection from the environment. When the glands nearby each eye fail to produce enough basal tears, or when the composition of the tears changes, the health of the eye and vision are compromised. Vision may be affected because tears on the surface of the eye play an important role in focusing light.
 
Tears are a complex mixture of fatty oils, water, mucus, and more than 1500 different proteins that keep the surface of the eye smooth and protected from the environment, irritants, and infectious pathogens. Tears form in three layers. An outer, oily (lipid) layer, produced by the Meibomian glands, keeps tears from evaporating too quickly and helps tears remain on the eye.
 
A middle (aqueous) layer contains the watery portion of tears as well as water-soluble proteins. This layer is produced by the main lacrimal gland and accessory lacrimal glands. It nourishes the cornea and the conjunctiva, the mucous membrane that covers the entire front of the eye and the inside of the eyelids.An inner (mucin) layer, produced by goblet cells, binds water from the aqueous layer to ensure that the eye remains wet.
What causes dry eye?
How is dry eye diagnosed and treated?