Dry eye is a common condition wherein the eye is not able to produce enough tears to sufficiently lubricate the eye. These tears are necessary for eye health by sweeping away foreign objects, reducing potential infections.
Dry eyes may feel like one of the following:
Dry eye can be caused either by not producing enough tears, or if the tears produced are not of good quality to do their job.
Not Enough Tears: Tear production can reduce with age, or as a result of other medical conditions or medications.
Poor Quality Tears: Tears are comprised of water, oil, and mucus. If the three components are not in balance, tears will not function properly resulting in dry eye.
The key to treating dry eye is to ensure the eye is lubricated properly and thereby reduce symptoms and ensure vision is not impaired. Dry eye treatments include:
Adding Artificial Tears: Over-the-counter artificial tears can be used regularly to treat mild cases of dry eye when the eye is not producing enough tears.
Increase Tear Production: A doctor can prescribe eye drops that increase tear production.