Many, at some point in time, have experienced symptoms such redness, burning, irritation, excessive tearing, gritty/scratchy foreign body sensations, difficulty wearing contact lenses or blurred and/or inconsistent vision. They may have Dry Eye. Dry Eye is a condition in which the eyes do not produce enough tears or produce tears of poor quality. While the condition becomes more common as we age, it can also be caused by the environment, medications like antihistamines and oral contraceptives, and autoimmune diseases like arthritis and Sjogren’s syndrome.
How to Treat Dry Eye
Artificial tears, which lubricate the eye, are the most common treatment for dry eye. They are available over-the-counter as eye drops. Sterile ointments are sometimes used at night to help prevent the eye from drying. People may also find comfort in using humidifiers, wearing wrap-around glasses when outside, and avoiding windy and dry conditions.
The first prescription medication for dry eye, Restasis™, is now available for certain types of dry eye. For people with more severe cases of dry eye, temporary or permanent closure of the tear ducts (small openings at the inner corner of the eyelids where tears drain from the eye) may also be helpful.