Dry Eye information

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Dry Eye

Dry eye is the loss or reduction of the eye’s normal ability to produce tears.

Dry Eye

What is dry eye?

Dry eye is the loss or reduction of the eye’s normal ability to produce tears. It is one of the most frequent causes of visits to an eye care professional. A variety of factors may cause or contribute to this problem.

  • Aging
  • Medications, including antihistamines, birth control pills, diuretics, cardiovascular medications, pain relievers, and anti-inflammatories
  • Eye strain from reading or computer work
  • A dry environment

What are the symptoms?

Typical symptoms of dry eye include

  • Stinging or burning
  • A gritty feeling
  • Discharge that forms a crust at night
  • Excess tearing
  • Difficulty wearing contact lenses

How can you prevent dry eye?

There are three approaches to restoring the eyes’ moisture.

Minimize drying

  • Avoid dry situations, such as an overheated room, wind, and smoke
  • Outdoors, wear wraparound glasses to reduce the drying effect of wind (please note that in some states it is illegal to drive in these glasses because they are thought to block peripheral vision)

Add lubrication

  • Use eye drops to add moisture directly to your eyes, or if wearing contact lenses, use rewetting drops
  • Use a humidifier or place  a pan of water on the radiator to add moisture back to the air

Conserve your own tears

  • Your eye doctor may choose to temporarily or permanently close the canals that drain tears from your eye to your nose

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