Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eyes is usually caused by inadequate quantity and/or quality of the tear film which coats the surface of the eye.  Counterintuitive to common reasoning, one of the most frequent symptoms of dry eye excessive tearing (epiphora). While ample tears are being produced, the tear film lacks sufficient oils and as a result, does not stick to the surface of the eye. Other symptoms of dry eye syndrome include a foreign body sensation, mild redness to the ocular surface, intolerance to contact lenses, mild blurry vision, and/or a stinging and burning sensation.

Your ophthalmologist will help determine the cause of dry eye and can prescribe adequate treatment. For patients who do not produce a sufficient quantity of tears (aqueous tear deficiency), the frequent use of artificial tears (without preservative), gels and/or ointments will often help lubricate the ocular surface. To keep tears on the ocular surface longer, the punctum (small drainage hole on the eyelid margin) can be occluded with a punctual plug or cautery.  More aggressive treatment options include the use of Restasis or Xiidra (prescription medications that help stimulate increased production of tears).