Dry eye syndrome, or dry eye disease, is a common condition that occurs when the eyes do not make enough tears or the tears evaporate too quickly.
This leads to the eyes drying out and becoming inflamed (red and swollen) and irritated. Dry eye syndrome is also known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca, or simply ‘dry eyes’.
The symptoms of dry eye syndrome usually affect both eyes and often include:
Dry eye syndrome can occur when the complex tear production process is disrupted in some way. There are many different reasons why this can happen, although a single identifiable cause is not often found.
Common causes include:
Although the condition can affect people of any age, your chances of developing dry eye syndrome increase as you get older. It’s estimated that up to one in every three people over the age of 65 experiences problems with dry eyes. Dry eye syndrome is also more common in women than men.
Dry eye syndrome is not usually a serious condition. In the mildest of cases it may be sufficient to take regular breaks from activities which may cause the dryness, try to blink more often whilst undertaking tasks where we may not blink as often whilst concentrating.
Treatments are available to help relieve the symptoms, which include, Blephex, eye drops and sprays to lubricate the eye, home care treatment packs including supplements. Also sometimes medication is used to reduce inflammation and if necessary surgey to prevent tears from draining away easily. If Dry Eye Syndrome has been caused by an underlying condition, treating this condition will usually help relieve the symptoms.