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eMed previously Babylon Health

Dry Eye Syndrome

This common condition has many names: dry eye disease, dry eyes and keratoconjunctivitis sicca. As the name suggests, this syndrome can be due to insufficient tears being produced, or tears that evaporate quickly. It can happen at any age, but is more frequent as people grow older.

Dry eyes can be hard to ignore and can interfere with daily life. If you think you may be suffering from dry eye syndrome then you can book a video consultation with a GP who can discuss your symptoms and provide advice and treatment as appropriate.

Causes of dry eye syndrome

The cause of the condition is disruption in the tear production process. There are many reasons this can happen, including:

  • Wearing contact lenses
  • Being in a hot or windy climate
  • Hormonal changes (menopause, pregnancy)
  • A side effect of medication
  • A symptom of another eye condition

Dry eye symptoms

Although symptoms may be mild, they can be irritating and affect the person’s activities. Symptoms usually affect both eyes.

  • A burning sensation
  • Dryness and soreness in the eyes
  • Sticky eyelids, especially when you wake up in the morning
  • Temporarily blurred vision in-between blinking
  • Periods of watering eyes (when they eyes produce too many tears to rectify the issue)

Treatment for dry eye syndrome

Treatments are available to ease the symptoms of the condition. A GP can prescribe eye drops which help to lubricate the eyes and anti-inflammatory medication if required. A surgical procedure can stop tears draining away so easily to prevent dry eye syndrome.

Eye care is also important and doctors may give you some self-help tips for preventing and treating dry eyes. For example, eating a diet that includes omega-3 and omega-7 fats can be good for your eyes, and you should always protect them from windy, dry or smoky environments. You can also use a humidifier to moisten the air at home or at work and see if that improves your symptoms.

Having dry eye syndrome can increase the risk of conditions such as conjunctivitis and in rare cases, also corneal inflammation. If you have very painful or red eyes, worsening vision or sensitivity to light please get your eyes checked by a doctor or optometrist today.

The information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Seek the advice of a doctor with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never delay seeking or disregard professional medical advice because of something you have read here.