Dry eyes is a very common eye condition where there is insufficient tears to wet the surface of the eye and keep it moisturized.

The symptoms include sensation of dry eyes, itchy eyes, eye discomfort, tired eyes, red eyes and on and off blurring of vision. Paradoxically, dry eyes may present with excessive tearing.

It is more common with advancing age and menopause in women but can also be due to other conditions such as

  • Sjogren’s syndrome,
  • rheumatoid arthritis,
  • systemic lupus erythematosus,
  • thyroid eye disease,
  • long term contact lens wear,
  • long term eyedrop use,
  • after chemical injuries to the eyes,
  • severe drug allergies which have affected the eye e.g. Stevens Johnson Syndrome
  • certain medications
  • post laser refractive surgery

Dry Eyes treatment

Dry eyes are mainly treated by the use of lubricant eye drops and eye ointments.

dry eyes- applying eye drops

Dry eyes: applying lubricant eye drops. Credit: AAO

In severe cases, the use of ciclosporin eye drops to increase tear production may be helpful. Punctal plugs are also sometimes used.

Environmental modifications that may be helpful include reducing direct exposure of the eye to drafts from fans and air conditioners and reducing the use of dehumidifiers.