Dry eyes is a prevalent eye condition characterized by insufficient tears to adequately moisturize the eye’s surface. In this article, we will explore the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for dry eyes.

Causes of Dry Eyes:

Dry eyes can be triggered by various factors, including:

  1. Aging: Dry eyes are more common as we grow older.
  2. Menopause in Women: Women experiencing menopause may be more susceptible to dry eyes.
  3. Underlying Medical Conditions: Dry eyes can be associated with conditions such as Sjogren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and thyroid eye disease.
  4. External Factors: Prolonged contact lens wear or frequent use of eye drops can contribute to dry eyes.
  5. Eye Injuries: Chemical injuries to the eyes or severe drug allergies (e.g., Stevens-Johnson Syndrome) can lead to dry eye symptoms.
  6. Medications: Certain medications may cause or exacerbate dry eyes.
  7. Eye Surgery: Dry eyes can develop as a side effect of post-laser refractive surgery.

Common Symptoms:

Dry eyes can manifest with various symptoms, including:

  • A persistent sensation of dryness in the eyes.
  • Itchy eyes.
  • Eye discomfort.
  • Fatigue in the eyes.
  • Redness of the eyes.
  • Occasional blurring of vision.

Interestingly, dry eyes may also result in excessive tearing.

Treatment for Dry Eyes:

Effective management of dry eyes typically involves the following:

1. Lubricant Eye Drops and Ointments: Lubricating eye drops and ointments provide relief by moisturizing the eyes and reducing discomfort.

dry eyes- applying eye drops

Dry eyes: applying lubricant eye drops. Credit: AAO

2. Prescription Medications: In severe cases, your doctor may recommend ciclosporin eye drops to stimulate tear production. Punctal plugs may also be used to retain tears on the eye’s surface.

3. Environmental Modifications: Making adjustments to your environment can be helpful. Avoid direct exposure of your eyes to drafts from fans and air conditioners, and consider reducing the use of dehumidifiers.

By understanding the causes, symptoms, and available treatments for dry eyes, you can take proactive steps to alleviate discomfort and maintain healthy eye moisture.

For personalized advice and treatment options, consult with an eye care specialist.