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Dry Eye

Dry eye is a condition that affects millions of people every day. It is often a normal part of the aging process. Other causes include exposure to environmental conditions, injuries to the eye, or general health problems. For example, people with arthritis and diabetes are more prone to dry eye. Some other specific causes of dry eye include:


Dry eye syndrome is literally the eye’s inability to lubricate and tear correctly. Oddly enough, some people who have dry eye syndrome actually tear excessively. Unfortunately, the pH or acidity of their tears is altered so that the eyes still feel dry and itchy, causing them to tear continuously.


It is a very common condition, especially in the older population, particularly older women. Women often experience dry eye syndrome during and after menopause, due to a decrease in female hormone levels. Other hormone altering events such as pregnancy, menstruation, and the use of birth control can contribute to dry eye syndrome.


The use of certain medications can also alter the eye’s ability to lubricate. Some of the most common medications are:



Certain types of diseases can also alter the eyes. These include:



The severity and symptoms of dry eye vary from person to person, although there are three distinct degrees of dryness: mild, moderate, and severe. Symptoms of dry eye include:



It is important to note that some people suffer from all the symptoms, while others may experience only a few. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, be sure to ask your eye doctor about dry eye. If you have dry eye, you doctor can help you choose an eye lubricant that’s right for you. Your ophthalmologist may prescribe one or more of the following treatments:



No cure currently exists for dry eye syndrome. Your doctor can help make your symptoms more comfortable.