Dry eye occurs when the eyes aren’t sufficiently moisturized, leading to itching, redness, foreign body sensation, and pain from dry spots on the surface of the eye. The eyes may become dry and irritated because the tear ducts don’t produce enough tears, or because the tears themselves have a chemical imbalance, causing them to evaporate quicker than normal. People usually begin experiencing dry eye symptoms as they age, but the condition can also result from certain medications, conditions or injuries.
Dry eye is not only painful; it can also damage the eye’s tissues and impair vision. Fortunately, many treatment options are available.
Non-surgical treatments for dry eye include increasing the humidity at home or work and the use of artificial tears, moisturizing ointment, and/or prescription eye drops. In combination with this, small punctal plugs may be inserted in the corners of the eyes to limit tear drainage, or the drainage tubes in the eyes may be surgically closed. Eyelid surgery is also a solution if an eyelid condition is causing your dry eyes.