What is dry eye syndrome?
Dry eye syndrome is caused by a problem with the lubricating tears which are made up of three
layers: an oily outer layer that helps prevent the watery tears from evaporating; the watery middle layer that moistens and cleanses the eye; and
the inner mucous layer that coats the surface of the eye. Dry eye symptoms can be caused by problems with any of these layers. What are the
symptoms of dry eye? Dry eye can be a mild or very uncomfortable sensation depending upon the severity. Symptoms include a dry feeling,
burning, scratching, itching or sticking. Redness, watery eyes, a foreign body sensation and blurred vision are also common. Having dry eye also
makes you more sensitive to environmental changes, such as wind, poor air quality, low humidity and automobile or indoor air conditioning.
What causes dry eye?
Dry eye can be caused by normal aging, certain medication such as antihistamines and oral contraceptives, lid or blinking
problems, allergies, environmental factors such as chemicals, dry climate or wind exposure, and certain health problems such as arthritis and
Diagnosing and treating dry eye.
Dr. Sturgis and Dr. Motto can diagnose dry eye by taking a complete health and lifestyle
history and examining the external eye including the lids, cornea, conjunctiva and the quantity and quality of your tears. Dry eye can be managed
with lubricating eye drops, ointments, prescription medication to decrease inflammation and help your eyes produce more natural tears, nutritional
supplements, or punctal plugs ï¿½ very small temporary or permanent plugs that are inserted in the tear drainage canal in the inner corner of each
eye to slow down the drainage of tears from the surface of the eye. These plugs are inserted in just minutes right in the office during a simple,
painless procedure. Many patients report immediate relief from dry eye symptoms and resume their normal activities immediately.
If you want to
overcome the frustration and discomfort of red, irritated, tearing or dry eyes, call New England Eyecare today for an appointment.