'Dry eye' is a condition that occurs when the lacrimal (tear) glands under your upper eyelids fail to produce enough tears to keep your eyes wet or the tears don’t work well.
Common symptoms are itchy or gritty red eyes, blurred vision, sensitivity to light, watery eyes, or ulcers on the eyelids.
The visual disturbances and discomfort often interfere with your work, social interactions and quality of life.
Dry eyes should not cause you any long-term health problems but the discomfort can become an issue. Depending on its severity, dry eyes can be treated medically or surgically. In very mild cases, doctors suggest a few ointments and a diet rich in Vitamin A and Omega-3 fatty acids. In mild to moderate cases, artificial tear drops, gels, and ointments are effective options for relieving the symptoms.
In extreme cases specialist treatment may be required; for example, punctal plugs can be fitted that reduce drainage of tears from the eye and allow the lubricants to be retained for longer. This is a low-risk procedure.
With proper assessment, diagnosis and treatment, you can get your eyes back to normal and protect them from infection.