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Dry eye is a common cause of sore and irritated eyes. Ongoing discomfort can result in signficiant disruption to your vision and lifestyle.

What is dry eye?

Dry eye syndrome is a common condition that is due to a poor quantity or quality of tears. Symptoms may include dry, red, irritated or gritty eyes. Sometimes watery eye can also be a component of dry eye due to less production of “normal” tears or poor quality of the tear film. This discomfort can be ongoing and is a common problem for office workers or those who wear contact lenses.

Common factors contributing to dry eye syndrome include:

  • Meibomian gland dysfunction: where the eye lid glands (meibomian glands) become inflamed and do not produce the correct oils that are required to maintain a stable tear film.
  • Blepharitis: inflammation of the eye lashes that can result in irritated and red eyelid margins.
  • medications
  • general health conditions
  • age
  • gender
  • computer and screen use
  • contact lenses

Evaluation and treatment options

Your optometrist can carry out tests to determine the factors contributing to dry eye. It is important to identify the causes of dry eye and to personalise treatment to the target the specific causes.

Treatment options can include artificial tear drops, eye lid treatments, treatments to address the drainage of the tears or certain medications.