Dry Eye

DRY EYE syndrome usually results from a problem with the tear film that lubricates the eyes.

What causes this?

This can be caused by air conditioning, cigarette smoke, some medications such as those for rheumatoid arthritis, contact lenses, the menopause and the natural ageing process. Diabetics can also be at increased risk of this condition. Prolonged exposure to a computer screen tends to reduce the blink rate, thereby resulting in an excessive exposure and breakdown of the tear film.

What are the symptoms?

Mild or early-stage dry eye syndrome typically causes itching, burning, light sensitivity or blurred vision that improves with blinking, but if left untreated, can lead to more serious damage to the eye. Severe dry eye symptoms can be quite disabling.

What is the treatment?

Artificial tears, or eye drops, can alleviate the dry, scratchy feeling in the eyes, and temporary or permanent ‘plugs’ that reduce the speed at which tears drain from the eyes can be inserted in a very simple procedure. Severe dry eyes can also be treated with Cyclosporine eye drops.