Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eyes are the commonest eye condition in Australia.

The surface of the eye needs a nice smooth tear film for focusing, health and for comfort. Blinking freshens up the tear film. Activities where we don’t blink so often, such as reading, computer work and watching television, tend to dry out the surface of the eyes.

The symptoms of dry eyes include watering, intermittent blurred vision, grittiness, redness, a foreign body sensation and sometimes dryness.

Dry eye syndrome can be caused from a lack of tears, poor oily layer, poor eyelid position or a combination of all 3.

The treatment of dry eye syndrome may require addressing all of these problems.

Why do my eyes water if you say there are dry?

When the surface of the eyes dry out, it sends a message to the tear gland to make more tears. The tear gland makes more tears and this overflow the system. Ninety-five percent of the time, watery eyes are due to dry eyes and not a drainage problem.

What is the treatment of dry eye syndrome?

The treatment of dry eye syndrome usually involves lubricant eye drops, warm compresses to help the oily layer and a mild steroid drop to reduce the inflammation. Sometimes eyelid surgery is needed to improve the lid position. There are a number of options for treatment of dry eye syndrome, depending on the severity of the condition.

How long will I have to treat my dry eyes?

Dry eye syndrome is a chronic condition. This can fluctuate and at times may seem to be quite well-controlled.  When the symptoms are under control a person can reduce the use of the lubricant eye drops. If the symptoms return, the eye drops and warm compresses must increase again.