Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry eye syndrome (DES) is a condition that results from insufficient tears on the surface of the
eye. This may be the result of lack of production of tears, excessive evaporation of the tear
layer, and poor tear quality. Symptoms of DES include redness, a dry feeling, irritation, gritty
sensation, and even excess tearing. Excess tearing may result from the reflex production of tears
due to the dry sensation in the eyes. However, these excess tears do not have the right quality to
properly lubricate the eyes.
Evaluation by your eye doctor may include special “staining”
eye drops, which adhere to unhealthy cells on the cornea caused by DES. Your doctor may also
measure the amount of tearing using specialized strips of paper.
Treatment may include eye drops, punctal plugs, and/or special treatment to the eyelids for
co-existing conditions such as blepharitis (hyperlink).
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