Dry eye occurs when the eye does not produce tears properly, or when the tears are not of the correct consistency and evaporate too quickly.
In addition, inflammation of the surface of the eye may occur along with dry eye. If left untreated, this condition can lead to pain, ulcers, or scars on the cornea, and some loss of vision. However, permanent loss of vision from dry eye is uncommon.
Dry eye can make it more difficult to perform some activities, such as using a computer or reading for an extended period of time, and it can decrease tolerance for dry environments, such as the air inside an airplane.
Other names for dry eye include dry eye syndrome, keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), dysfunctional tear syndrome, lacrimal keratoconjunctivitis, evaporative tear deficiency, aqueous tear deficiency, and LASIK-induced neurotrophic epitheliopathy (LNE).
Tears, made by the lacrimal gland, are necessary for overall eye health and clear vision. Tears bathe the surface of the eye, keeping it moist, and wash away dust and debris. They also help protect the eye from bacterial and other types of infections.
Dry eye symptoms may include any of the following:
stinging or burning of the eye;
a sandy or gritty feeling as if something is in the eye;
episodes of excess tears following very dry eye periods;
a stringy discharge from the eye;
pain and redness of the eye;
episodes of blurred vision;
inability to cry when emotionally stressed;
uncomfortable contact lenses;
decreased tolerance of reading, working on the computer, or any activity that requires sustained visual attention;
Elderly people frequently experience dryness of the eyes, but dry eye can occur at any age. Nearly five million Americans 50 years of age and older are estimated to have dry eye.
150 Interstate South Drive Suite 200 Jasper, Georgia 30143